From the Board of Directors

Fall 2017 Updates
Lots happening! Marianna social, a new documentary funded, Calhoun oil drilling update and-- a big milestone for our Riverkeeper. Please scroll through all the news here. Look for updates on Facebook and Twitter, too.
Dan Tonsmeire, our Apalachicola Riverkeeper since 2004

Dear Members and Friends,
Earlier this year, our tireless leader and man-in-perpetual motion, Dan Tonsmeire, let us know that he would like to retire. For a while, we pretended not to hear him and simply hoped the feeling would pass. Unfortunately, it didn't. As a result, the board of directors has been working for some time now on a transition plan that will allow us to keep the momentum that Dan has helped us build over the past 14 years.
If you're familiar with Dan and his work, you realize that replacing him just isn't possible and that even finding a worthy successor will be difficult to do.
Naturalist, advocate, river guide, teacher, lobbyist, and historian. These are just some of the many hats he wears - at times, in the course of a single day. His Riverkeeper work takes him from classrooms, to board rooms, to US Senate hearing rooms. Dan listens and appreciates the views of environmentalists, sportsmen, commercial fishermen, farmers, foresters, business owners, and neighbors in communities throughout the basin. He can discuss fluvial geomorphology or fly fishing, knows about oysters and oil wells, and can carry on a friendly discussion or fight tooth and nail to protect the river and bay. 
One quality (of many) that we greatly admire about Dan is his true dedication for his work. He's fond of saying, "Que Suerte," which means he feels lucky to have found a perfect fit for his life's work. But the truth is that the Apalachicola River and Bay, the fish, wildlife, and plants, and the Riverkeeper organization in particular have all been lucky that Dan poured his heart and soul into our cause.
Our mission will go on. The board of directors has already begun the search for the next Apalachicola Riverkeeper. We aim to do so sooner rather than later, but we will take as long as we need to find the right person, one who can move us forward with the same depth, dedication and endurance Dan has demonstrated since 2004. We are also quite fortunate that Dan has agreed to continue working with us in an advisory role which includes training his successor.
Certainly, we will keep you posted as our board makes staffing decisions. In the meantime, however, we offer our most heartfelt thanks to Dan Tonsmeire for all he's done and continues to do to save this most endangered American Treasure - the Apalachicola River and Bay. 

Please watch for upcoming news on a  retirement celebration for Dan.
Thank you for your on-going support.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Georgia Ackerman
Board President, Apalachicola Riverkeeper
Calhoun County Oil Drilling

Calhoun County Planning Commission and County Commission  will have a public hearing this Tuesday, October 24 at 4:30* p.m. Central Time.  The hearing includes a decision on a change to the county's Comprehensive Plan that would allow oil drilling in all agriculture land--including floodplains, wetlands and recharge areas.  

*Please note the county website states 4:30 pm meeting start time.

DEP contacts for  Spooner Application #OG 1370, 
and Cindy Mulkey, 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road  MS 3588  
Tallahassee, FL 32499
Calhoun County also gave the Spooner exploratory well first steps of approva l  in September.
The application by Spooner Petroleum of Ridgeland, Mississippi, seeks approval to drill a 12,900-foot exploratory oil well in southern Calhoun County.  The company has leased over 10,000 acres of mineral rights from the Hunt Oil Company in Calhoun and Gulf Counties for exploration and possible oil development.
Marianna Member-Supporter Social

Please join us in Marianna for a Meet and Greet Social with a river status update from Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Dan Tonsmeire. Refreshments provided. 
Friday, November 17
5:00-7:00 p.m. Central time 
Historic First National Bank
2875 Caledonia St in downtown Marianna
RiverTrek celebrates 10th year
Thank you paddlers, coordinators, financial contributors, support crew, guest speakers, trip leaders, dinner donors, and safety boat team for making this a record-breaking RiverTrek awareness campaign and fundraiser! This volunteer-fueled event relies on hundreds of hours of time, energy and talent by people who sincerely care about the Apalachicola River and Bay and support Apalachicola Riverkeeper! The team raised over $55,000 to support our advocacy, education, outreach and research work. Thank you.  We are grateful and genuinely in awe of your generosity. Together, we make a difference! 
Florida Humanities Council funds river documentary by FSU students

Apalachicola Riverkeeper recently received a $5,000 Community Project Grant from the Florida Humanities Council. These funds will be used to support the production of a documentary, The Apalachicola: Stories from the River. This project is a collaborative partnership of Apalachicola Riverkeeper, Florida State University's College of Communication and WFSU Public Media. 

The foundation for this exciting project was built earlier this year when Apalachicola Riverkeeper partnered in an interdisciplinary effort at Florida State University. More at  Apalachicola River Project.
In the News:  Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in water dispute of Apalachicola-Chattahochee-Flint river system