Environmental leaders will congregate in Guntersville for Alabama Water Rally

Largest gathering of river conservationists in the state will take place at Guntersville State Park on the year of the 30th anniversary of Eagle Awareness weekends

Guntersville, Ala. —Alabama’s largest gathering of river conservationists will take place in Guntersville State Park from February 27-March 1, 2015 at Alabama Water Rally, the 17th annual conference of the Alabama Rivers Alliance.

Alabama Water Rally is Alabama’s premiere environmental education event. Featuring nationally-recognized speakers, valuable educational sessions, and entertaining networking opportunities, the conference draws over a hundred participants from a variety of backgrounds. The conference is held in different regions of the state each year to make it accessible for citizens from all  areas of Alabama.”This year’s Alabama Water Rally theme is ‘flowing together, growing together,’” said Cindy Lowry, Alabama Rivers Alliance executive director. “ Alabama Water Rally provides an opportunity for concerned citizens and community leaders from across the state to come together in support of each other and continue to grow our movement to protect the vast and ecologically significant water resources of Alabama.”

The festivities will kick off Friday, February 27th at 5pm with the River Celebration Awards banquet. This is an evening devoted to the recognition 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.  The highest of the River Celebration Awards is the coveted River Hero Award, a lifetime achievement award given to passionate individuals who exemplify river stewardship and who have a rich history of advocating for the protection of Alabama’s waterways. Awards are presented at an inspiring ceremony following a lively reception and seated dinner.

On Saturday, participants will hear from experts about current issues and threats to Alabama’s waterways and participate in working sessions addressing some of the most pressing water issues facing our state, like Alabama’s need for a water management plan. Saturday’s luncheon will feature a keynote speech by Catherine Coleman Flowers of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and of Equal Justice Initiative. A native of Lowndes County, Alabama, Flowers taught high school in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. before returning home to advocate for poverty-stricken people in Alabama’s Black Belt. She is the founder and director of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and joined Environmental Justice Initiative in summer 2008 as part of its Race and Poverty initiative.

Saturday’s evening entertainment will be a contra dance with live music from the Sparklers.

The conference will conclude on Sunday with a variety of field trip options, including a guided hike with naturalist Linda Reynolds, who started Guntersville State Park’s Eagle Awareness Program in 1985. There will also be canoeing and kayaking trip options for beginner to intermediate paddlers.

For registration, sponsorship opportunities, a detailed schedule, and more information, please visit our website.

More photos available upon request.

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About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
The Alabama Rivers Alliance is Alabama’s statewide, nonprofit river protection organization.  Our purpose is to protect & restore Alabama’s rivers. To do this, we advocate smart water policy, organize at the grassroots level, and teach citizens how they can protect their water. We are privately funded and accomplish our mission with the financial support of people like you. Our goal is to achieve healthy rivers, healthy people, and a healthy system of government for the state of Alabama.