FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Meaghan Gerard
Communications and Administrative Director
Green Truck Pub
Contact: Whitney Shephard Yates, Co-owner
OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER PARTNERS WITH GREEN TRUCK PUB FOR EARTH DAY
Event will showcase a new interactive map and burger special
Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) is partnering with Green Truck Pub (GTP) on Thursday, April 22, 2021, in the parking lot of GTP, 2430 Habersham St. The event will be held from 5-9 p.m. and feature a live outdoor projection of a new interactive map of the Ogeechee River basin. GTP will offer a new burger special highlighting the celebration.
Members of ORK staff will be on-hand to answer questions, assist with memberships, and demonstrate the new StoryMap. Using ArcGIS technology, the web-based platform integrates data, narrative, maps, and graphics to tell the story of the Ogeechee River basin and the Riverkeeper organization. The result is an interactive experience for the user.
“We are in awe of the commitment of Ogeechee Riverkeeper to protect our shared river basin. Most of Chatham County thinks of the Savannah River, but in reality 76% of the county is in the Ogeechee watershed. Whether you’re paddling, drinking clean water, or appreciating the deep heritage, the river is a tremendous resource to our community and upstream communities alike. Green Truck has enjoyed a long partnership with ORK, and the StoryMap viewing is a fun way to showcase all of the good that ORK is doing.”
ORK and GTP are committed to maintaining the highest COVID-19 safety protocols. This is an outdoor, ‘drop by’ event only. Guests are encouraged to visit the ORK tent while picking up a to-go order from GTP.
The event is part of Earth Day Savannah Month (earthdaysavannah.org) and guests are encouraged to view their master calendar for other virtual or small outdoor events during the month of April.
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. At 245 miles long, the Ogeechee River system drains more than 5,000 square miles of land across 22 Georgia counties. More at ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.
About Green Truck Pub: Locally-owned, Green Truck Pub features coastal Georgia farmers and American craft brewers. We do simple food the hard way, from scratch, with love, every day. We are proud to be Savannah’s grass-fed burger joint, ten years and counting. www.greentruckpub.com.
Sue Ebanks, Ph.D., is a local through and through. She grew up on these rivers, creeks, marshes, and beaches. Her father took his kids shrimping and crabbing and fishing from an early age. While attending Jenkins High School, she and her best friend started a marine biology club so they could explore the estuaries.
She wants young people to engage in their environment, like she did. “We live in an amazing coastal environment but most just drive by it. They don’t understand our dynamic with it.” And it would be a meandering path to lead her back home to her beloved lowcountry.
A couple of weeks after graduating from Savannah State University (SSU) with a double major in marine and environmental sciences, she went to Japan for three years. Her husband, a graduate of the NROTC program, received his orders to serve there as a meteorologist for ships at sea. Ebanks did lots of exploring, learned Japanese, taught English but knew she needed to go back to school to really study the environment like she wanted to.
The young family returned to Savannah and they both earned master’s degrees in marine science at SSU. Then came the step of finding a doctoral program. “It’s a huge commitment and it’s really hard to find the right fit,” Ebanks says. “You have to find someone researching what you want to study.” She found a project at University of Miami studying the biology of freshwater snails and the contaminants in them. “They form their shells from the material around them, including calcium, which [to the snails] can look chemically similar to contaminants, like lead.”
When asked about being a person of color in a predominantly white field, “I was really fortunate,” she recalls. “I was so busy, I didn’t really notice it, but I have heard about the negative experiences. I wonder how many students I might have had, that have been lost along the way, because they were discouraged.”
As an associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at her alma mater she is continuing to study how things like the waste products of combustion effect the ecosystem. Ebanks and her students have looked at seastar wasting, a spiny lobster virus, and now microplastic pollution. And she makes sure they know their voices are important. “The more angles there are, the more likely we can find a solution. Sustainability can’t only be legislated. We have to change hearts and minds.”