Archived Story

State of Our Watershed Conference this month

Published 7:31pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 2011 Annual State of Our Watershed Conference will focus on celebrating recent accomplishments of the Tallapoosa River Basin and looking at future developments.

The 7th annual conference will be held Wednesday, June 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Central Alabama Community College’s Betty Carol Graham Technology Center.

Denise Walls, coordinator of the Middle Tallapoosa River Basin Clean Water Partnership, said a variety of topics would be discussed at the event, such the Outstanding Alabama Water Classification and the Treasured Alabama Lake Designation.

“Our goal is to let everyone know what is going on in the basin – the upper, middle and lower,” Walls said. “Lake Martin is in the middle, but we’ll discuss the upper, middle and lower. The first half (of the conference) will center around the new lake designation ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) awarded Lake Martin.”

A portion of the Tallapoosa River was recently upgraded to Outstanding Alabama Water classification, and Lake Martin was designated as the state’s first “Treasured Alabama Lake.” The conference will provide citizens with an opportunity to learn more about these upgrades and the implications they have for the basin from water management experts and even allow them to participate in a panel discussion on the topic.

The second half of the conference will provide the audience with an opportunity to hear about various projects led by innovative individuals and community groups. Walls said topics discussed during this portion would include preparing the next generation through environmental education as well as roadside dumping and litter control.

Conference speakers will discuss how there still remains a great need to maintain, protect and improve the water quality of the watershed although citizen engagement and collaboration with agencies and organizations over the past several years have brought about positive changes and accomplishments in the Tallapoosa River Basin. Leaders in water quality protection and improvement throughout the Tallapoosa River Basin will share how they are addressing current and future challenges from diverse perspectives.

Walls said that scheduled speakers at the event include Bill Deutsch, Alabama Water Watch and Auburn University; Jim Crew, Alabama Power; Lynn Sisk, ADEM; Don McClellan, Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance; Hagan Wagoner, ProgreCiv Group Inc.; John Coley, Lake Martin Voice Realty; Jim Felder, Alabama Scenic River Trail; Missy Middlebrooks, ADEM; Laurie Barrett, Gifted Program Radney School; John Thompson, Lake Martin Resource Association; Eric Reutebuch, Alabama Water Watch and Auburn University; Charlene LeBleu, Auburn University School of Architecture and Buddy Morgan, Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board.

The Middle Tallapoosa River Basin Clean Water Partnership, Alabama Water Watch, Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Alabama Clean Water Partnership organize the event. Its sponsors are the Middle Tallapoosa River Basin Clean Water Partnership, Alabama Water Watch, City of Alexander City, Central Alabama Community College, Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board.

There is no fee to attend the conference but event organizers do ask that attendees fill out an online registration form. Walls said that there is no deadline to register, but encouraged attendees to register early so they can have materials ready for them.

For more information call 1-888-844-4785 or 334-844-9323 or to register visit