The Coosa River Basin Initiative recently recognized a handful of key supporters and volunteers at the Rome-based Riverkeeper organization’s annual membership meeting.

At the Jan. 30 meeting, CRBI recognized Ruth Demeter of Rome as the Ray Kelley Volunteer of the Year. Ruth consulted with CRBI during a lengthy strategic planning process and also volunteered during CRBI’s Environmental quiz bowl competition and aided in the organization’s move to 5 Broad Street in downtown Rome after more than 17 years at 408 Broad Street.

The organization named Sweetwater Brewing Company of Atlanta as the Cedar Creek Park and Outdoor Center Corporate Citizen Award winner for 2017. The Atlanta brewer sponsors multiple Save the Coosa events at local restaurants and bars each summer that generate thousands of dollars in support for CRBI programs.

Justyn Patterson, an environmental science student at Berry College, was recognized as the Water Monitor of the Year. Justyn, a Bonner Scholar, volunteers 10 hours weekly and conducts chemical water monitoring at 20 sites in Georgia and Alabama. He has also assisted CRBI in building more collaborations between CRBI and Berry College students and faculty.

Finally CRBI recognized the citizen group Stop Trashing Forsyth County and the Etowah River with the Margie T. Harbin Environmental Advocacy Award. Members of the group were instrumental in winning concessions from the Forsyth County Commission to improve and limit operations of a private solid waste landfill located along the Etowah River. The group is currently pushing the county commission to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the dumping of coal ash waste at any landfill in the county.


CRBI is a 501c3 non profit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically unique river basin.