CRBI Celebrates 20 Years

Rome News-Tribune Article Jan. 29, 2013

The Coosa River Basin Initiative on Monday celebrated 20 years of fighting to keep the region’s rivers clean.

Rome-based CRBI began in 1992, and according to its mission statement, is dedicated to “informing and empowering citizens so that they may become involved in the process of creating a clean, healthy and economically viable Coosa River Basin.”

Monday’s annual meeting at the Rome-Floyd E.C.O. River Education Center began with Executive Director Joe Cook presenting the annual report.

One key victory for the CRBI in the past year came when they successfully lobbied to have the federal Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspend the permit for the 60-acre shopping center proposed for Riverside Parkway.

“This would have been built on your wetlands and a floodplain,” said Cook, adding that the CRBI is working with local officials to make sure the project will be more environmentally friendly if it moves forward. 

A legal victory involving CRBI mentioned by Cook came when a pre-existing state law was enforced to stop ATV users from driving in the Etowah River at U.S. 411.

Other parts of the report lauded the removal of 10,000 pounds of trash from local rivers and streams, the addition of 300 new members and a budget that has grown in spite of the economy.

Shelia Cox was given the Ray Kelley Volunteer of the Year Award, while Anita Sealock was named the top environmental educator for her role in Elm Street Elementary’s Earth Day.

The Anheuser-Busch Cartersville Brewery was honored with 2012’s Corporate Citizen award. Cook said the Cartersville plant has the best water-consuming practices of any brewery in the world.

The celebration culminated with brief speeches by four key figures from CRBI’s past: Jerry Brown, Heather Seckman, Mitch Lawson and Katie Owens.

Read more: - Coosa River Basin Initiative celebrates 20 years 

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