Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Coosa River Basin Initiative

PROTECT | PRESERVE | RESTORE

ROME, GA

Mission

To protect, preserve, and restore one of North America's most biologically diverse river systems - the upper Coosa River basin.

Ruling Year

1993

Executive Director & Riverkeeper

Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman

Main Address

5 BROAD ST

ROME, GA 30161 USA

Keywords

water, environment, advocacy, education, restoration

EIN

58-2031305

 Number

6635321090

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

We take a watershed approach to the protection and restoration of the upper Coosa River and its tributaries. This means we keep an eye on land use, industrial permits (stormwater, LAS, and discharge), development, and municipal water systems contained in a 5500 sq. mi. drainage basin. We work to improve water quality in our waterways through Education, Restoration, Advocacy, and Water Monitoring.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

6 14

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Education

Restoration

Advocacy

Water Monitoring

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total pounds of debris collected

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Pounds of trash removed from our waterways.

Number of donations made by board members

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Percentage of board contributing financially

Number of unique website visitors

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Unique users on website

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our ultimate goal is clean water for all in the upper Coosa River basin - clean water for drinking, playing, manufacturing, and more. Specifically in our basin, we work toward the following: -healthy and sustainable management of our lakes so new reservoirs are not needed -removal and reduction of sediment in our waterways from poor development practices -reduction of nutrient loading from agriculture runoff and municipal water plants -reduction of industrial pollution (coal ash impacts, PFAS, etc) -improvements in river access and water trail signage -improved awareness in water issues among residents that live in the basin -more protective laws that support everyone's rights to access and enjoy clean water

We utilize Education to help bring up the next generation of river protectors by teaching children about our waterways, the critters that live here, and the threats that our rivers face. Our in (and out of) school programs highlight the upper Coosa River basin's incredible biodiversity. Whenever possible, we like to take the classroom outside and get down into streams to find the life there. We also work with partners at local colleges to create documentaries and lesson plans that deal with local pollution issues. Restoration projects can have some of the largest impacts on water quality while allowing us to work with an incredibly diverse group of partners. These projects range from cleanups on the small end to farm best management practices (such as fencing cattle out of a headwater stream) in the middle to larger projects like culvert removal and replacement to restore fish passage. Our projects frequently include riparian buffer restoration. Through Advocacy, CRBI is able to use its expertise to punch above its weight. We help tackle local water issues by pulling in experts and addressing citizens' concerns. We aim to work with and alongside municipalities and employers in an effort help shape development in the basin in a sustainable way. Our position on the Leadership Team of the Georgia Water Coalition allows us to have a statewide voice and meaningful impact on state laws that improve water quality and access for everyone in Georgia. Finally, we train and organize a team of volunteers that help us capture water quality data across the basin utilizing the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream database. Our volunteers typically collect physical data (pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and conductivity at their testing locations once a month. During the nicer months of the year, we conduct bacterial testing at popular boat ramps and publish the results in local newspapers so paddlers can identify safe times and locations to paddle.

While CRBI has a very small staff, our large network of volunteers, supporters, and professional associations allow us to punch above our weight. Our staff and board represent decades of experience managing nonprofits, working on water issues, managing restoration projects, advocating for better laws at the Capitol, and fundraising. When our own in-house expertise is stretched, we have a number of professional associations that give us access to a vast library of shared knowledge. We are a member of: -Waterkeeper Alliance (international alliance of Waterkeepers working to protect water globally) -Georgia Water Coalition (consortium of over 260 organizations, companies, Riverkeepers, home owners associations, and faith-based groups all working for clean water in Georgia) - we serve on the Leadership and Legislative Teams -Waterkeepers Alabama (collection of all of the Waterkeepers in Alabama) -Upper Coosa Working Group (partnership with The Nature Conservancy, local RC&Ds, and state biologists to help prioritize and implement restoration projects in the basin) -Adopt-A-Stream (network of volunteer water quality monitors in GA - we serve as a local coordinator)

We measure our progress with a number of indicators. First, we mark progress through the improvements in NPDES and LAS permits that show meaningful reductions in pollutions of concern. Similarly, we mark the real reduction in pollutions through changes in pollution levels collected by the state, local municipalities, and ourselves. We measure our engagement of residents by participation in our events, paddle trips and fundraisers; engagement with our social media accounts and website (utilizing advanced analytics); and by the increase of our membership numbers. Our legislative impact can be much more difficult to measure in the short term. We rarely accomplish our ultimate goals in a single legislative session but look for incremental steps (increased subject knowledge among lawmakers, rule changes from EPD, incremental laws that move us toward our legislative goals, etc). Over time, we have larger successes that help us further understand our long-term effectiveness.

Here is a handful of some of our successes: -helped pass Georgia's first-ever law regulating the practice of fracking (HB 205) -elevated the subject of coal ash storage in the General Assembly and increased the appetite for laws that will meaningfully help protect Georgia's citizens from the leaking toxins in poorly stored coal ash -removed hundreds of thousands of tons of trash from our waterways -worked with several farmers to fence cattle our of headwaters and adopt other best management practices -commented on and influenced hundreds of pollution discharge permits -taken tens of thousands of people on paddle trips across the river basin Coming up we aim to: -continue reducing erosion and sedimentation by working with local governments and developers -secure protective laws in Georgia governing the safe, dry storage of coal ash -secure laws in Georgia setting clear testing and reporting requirements for PFAS -pass constitutional amendment to allow for the dedication of environmental trust funds (currently being collected locally and then robbed at the Capitol by misappropriation)

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Coosa River Basin Initiative

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2015 and 2012
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/24/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Male, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 02/24/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

done
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.