3 W Ridge Rd
Savannah, GA 31411
The Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) will be the featured topic of the February meeting and seminar of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Skidaway to be held on Monday, February 12, at St. Peter’s Church beginning at 7:00 pm. Dr. Simona Perry, Riverkeeper and ORK Executive Director, will talk about the organization’s mission, the critical role citizen science plays in that mission, and highlights of the 2018 local and state advocacy program.
Dr. Perry will also provide an overview of current and future threats to the Basin’s fisheries and wildlife populations and ideas about how everyone can participate in efforts to monitor and counter those threats.
The Ogeechee River is a coastal plain river with unique fish and wildlife. The watershed is home to over 500,000 people and covers portions of 22 counties. Planted pine forest, coastal sands and clays, and wetlands are major features of the landscape. Environmental concerns include impacts to fish, wildlife, public health, wetlands, tidal marshes, river water quantity and water quality from activities such as titanium and zirconium sand mining, forestry practices, paper mills, solid and hazardous waste disposal sites, residential and industrial development, sea level rise, and invasions by exotic animals and plants.
The mission of Ogeechee Riverkeeper is to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin. The nonprofit organization, licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, receives its operating budget from donations, grants and proceeds from various fundraising events.
Before being named Riverkeeper and Executive Director in November, 2017, Dr. Simona Perry led ORK’s Oral History Project. A Savannah native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, her master’s in Marine Policy from the University of Washington, and her doctorate in the Human Dimensions of Natural ResourcesConservation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before returning home to Savannah, Dr. Perry worked for seven years as a marine fisheries biologist with NOAA, three years as director of an environmental education non-profit, and twelve years studying and writing about the cultural and political ecology of various rivers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York.
As the new Riverkeeper, Dr. Perry’s duties will include encouraging partnerships throughout the Ogeechee River basin, increasing membership, strengthening the donor base, building the organization’s Watershed Watch, Healthy Waters, and Hometown Waters programs, and serving as the “go-to” person for environmental issues across the river basin.
“I hope to continue to empower river landowners, as well as current and future river users, to become more directly engaged in Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s mission of protecting, preserving, and improving the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin,” Dr. Perry says.
A high-quality bait caster rod & reel will be the prize in the CCA’s February raffle.
CCA is a non-profit organization with chapters on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts. For more information about CCA of Skidaway contact Joe Tyson, 598-8765. For more information about CCA’s Georgia District, contact Tom Rood, 598-9753. For information about this month’s meeting and seminar, contact Dave Devore, 330-329-6457. Area residents are invited to attend the CCA of Skidaway meetings and seminars held on the second Monday of the month at St. Peter’s Church.