ORK received $10,000 Bass Pro Shops Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08/02/2022
Contact: Meaghan Walsh Gerard
Communications and Administrative Director
meaghan@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER RECEIVES $10,000 BASS PRO SHOPS GRANT
Funding will be dedicated to Protect the Vernon project

Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. The grant will fund ORK’s on-going Protect the Vernon project that has connected numerous community stakeholders with The ultimate goal to reduce pollution to the point that it will be delisted by the Georgia EPD as ‘impaired.’ 

So far, a total of 1293.18 lbs of trash has been collected from the creeks and canals leading to the Vernon. Styrofoam is the most common litter collected in litter booms, with an average of 292 pieces per clean up. There are a total of 61 unique bacterial sampling sites within the Vernon River watershed that ORK and Adopt-A-Stream volunteers are monitoring. Additionally, ORK has engaged 420 students at 2 different schools in 5th and 9-11th grades with onsite water quality education programming. The grant from the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fund will help ORK continue and expand these efforts.

“We’re pleased to partner with Bass Pro Shops on this project,” said Meaghan Walsh Gerard, communications and administrative director for ORK. “You can see the waterways we are restoring from the front doors of the store – it doesn’t get any more local. We know Bass Pro Shops is dedicated to conservation efforts and their customers are equally enthusiastic about protecting the environment we all enjoy.”

Details about the Protect the Vernon project can be found at ogeecheeriverkeeper.org/vernon.

About Bass Pro Fund: Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. When customers round up loose change at the register, we’re uniting more than 200 million customers in supporting key conservation programs across North America.

About Ogeechee Riverkeeper: Ogeechee Riverkeeper 501(c)(3) works to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, which includes all of the streams flowing out to Ossabaw Sound and St. Catherine’s Sound. The Canoochee River is about 108 miles long and the Ogeechee River itself is approximately 245 miles long. The Ogeechee River system drains more than 5,500 square miles across 22 counties in Georgia. More at ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

PRESS RELEASE: Ogeechee Riverkeeper awarded prestigious Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant

February 1, 2022
Ogeechee Riverkeeper
Contact: Meaghan Gerard
Communications and Administrative Director
meaghan@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org

 

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS FISH & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION GRANT

ORK will work with municipalities, stakeholders to improve Vernon River watershed

Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) was awarded a Five Star grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in support of its ongoing Protect The Vernon project. The grant, totalling $93,200, includes more than $45,000 in matching funds and on-the-ground support from local experts, municipalities, and organizations. The funding will allow ORK to engage stakeholders in a scientific plan and help move the Vernon River toward greater ecological health. Ultimately, ORK envisions this restoration project to serve as a model for restoring other water bodies in our basin. 

Aspects of the project include:

  • Installation of multiple litter booms to capture litter and plastic pollution before it reaches larger water bodies
  • Analyze captured litter for possible mitigation solutions
  • Monitor bacterial levels at multiple locations to  identify and respond to pollution sources
  • Train and engage community volunteers to monitor water quality 
  • Educate and engage young people via K-12 classroom settings
  • Provide collegiate internships in data collection and analysis

The representative group of stakeholders and partners includes ORK, Skidaway Institute for Oceanography, City of Savannah, Chatham County, Savannah State University, Chatham Academy, Heard Elementary, Town of Vernonburg, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, and Cuddybum Hydrology.

“The goal of this project is to reduce bacterial and plastic contamination from entering into the Vernon River and our coastal marshes and we are involving the many great community partners to accomplish this” says Damon Mullis, riverkeeper and executive director. “With the support of this grant we will be able to reach people of all ages and backgrounds, making these efforts a long-term, sustainable solution.” 

The NFWF Urban Waters Restoration Program helps develop community capacity by providing modest assistance to diverse local partnerships for river, wetland, riparian, forest and coastal restoration, and wildlife conservation. Water monitoring, stormwater management, source water protection, urban tree canopy restoration, and projects designed to prevent trash from entering waterways are just some of the types of projects that are awarded grants.

More details about the Protect the Vernon project and continuing updates are available at https://www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org/vernon.

About Ogeechee Riverkeeper: Ogeechee Riverkeeper 501(c)(3) works to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, which includes all of the streams flowing out to Ossabaw Sound and St. Catherine’s Sound. The Canoochee River is about 108 miles long and the Ogeechee River itself is approximately 245 miles long. The Ogeechee River system drains more than 5,500 square miles across 22 counties in Georgia. More at ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

 

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