ARA Recognizes Community & State Leaders at Annual River Celebration Awards Banquet in Montgomery




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      

March 20, 2018

For More Information: Kelly Marshall | 205.322.6395 | [email protected]



BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Rivers Alliance featured their River Celebration Awards Banquet Friday, March 16 as part of their annual Alabama Water Rally conference in Montgomery.

The River Celebration Awards Banquet is an evening devoted to the recognitio  n of those special organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward river protection in our state.  Nominations are submitted by members of the Alabama Rivers Alliance.

“Much of the work of these individuals and organizations goes largely unrecognized except in our own circles,” Cindy Lowry, executive director of Alabama Rivers Alliance, said. “We cherish the opportunity to honor their work and service with our River Celebration Awards and are proud to work alongside them defending our rivers throughout Alabama.”

The recipients of the 2018 River Celebration Awards were:

Emerging Leader of the Year – Charles Miller, ARA Junior Board Co-Chair, for his above and beyond dedication to Alabama Rivers Alliance and many other groups throughout Alabama.

Volunteer of the Year – Shelly Taliaferro, professor at Auburn University of Montgomery, for her dedication to connecting students to the Alabama Rivers Alliance.

Outstanding Group of the Year – Waterkeepers Alabama for their outstanding work collaborating together on issues impacting all of Alabama like sewage issues, coal ash and more.

Beyond Rivers Partner of the Year – Sierra Club Mobile Bay for their tireless work to engage and mobilize citizens about important environmental issues, such as the impacts of dredging on Dauphin Island.

Business Partner of the Year – Robert & Susan Tate at PROForma for their dedication to giving back to their community and deserving groups throughout Birmingham.

In addition to these awards, three individuals were also recognized with the lifetime achievement award of RIVER HERO. This award is given to an individual who has spent the better part of their lives working to protect and defend Alabama’s waterways.  They go above and beyond the average calling to ensure that all Alabamians can enjoy clean and heathy water.

The 2018 RIVER HEROES are:

Stephen Guesman (The Friends of the Locust Fork River and Alabama Cup Racing Association)

Dr. Betsy Dobbins (Samford University, Friends of Shades Creek, and Cahaba River Society)

Eric Reutebuch (Alabama Water Watch and Lake Watch of Lake Martin)


About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide network of groups working to protect and restore all of Alabama’s water resources through building partnerships, empowering citizens, and advocating for sound water policy and its enforcement. For more information, please visit

Additional information and photos available upon request

# # #

Click here to download photos of the award winners.

River Celebration Awards press release final