Riverkeeper raft effort halfway to goal

Monday, March 7, 2011 10:03 AM
Last updated 2:38 PM
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Five days into an effort to sign up 500 new members, Savannah Riverkeeper director Tonya Bonitatibus has endured wind and rain—and maybe even some good-natured ridicule.

“Yeah, a few people say maybe I’m crazy,” she said. “But this is day six and we’re officially halfway there.”

Bontatibus, whose environmental group works to focus attention and awareness on the river and its complex issues, moved onto a 20-by-20 foot raft anchored in the channel off Eighth Street last Wednesday, vowing to remain there until her organization recruits 500 new members.

As of today, 251 memberships have been sold, she said.

“We’re counting them in increments of $35, which is what an individual membership costs,” she said. “Some people are signing up everyone in their family, so a larger donation will count as more than one signup.”

Rough weekend weather included rain that dampened a First Friday membership drive and a gusty Sunday that forced her to re-enforce her tent with a tarp held in place with 2-inch wood screws. It also got a little cold, with temperatures dipping into the 30s.

“It was scary, with all the wind, but today is beautiful,” she said. “I was able to build everything back and set it all up again, so we’re in good shape.”

The purpose of this event, which has attracted attention from Fox news and local boaters who have motored by to say hello, is to bring attention to the importance and beauty of the river.

Her raft, equipped with a tent, shower, toilet and fire pit, is anchored on the river at the end of 8th street in downtown Augusta - precisely in the middle of the watershed at mile marker 200 of the 400-mile-long Savannah River.

Annual memberships start at $35. For more information or to sign up on-line visit www.savannahriverkeeper.org/savannah500 or call 706-826-8991.

Savannah Riverkeeper, established in 2001, is one of seven such organizations in Georgia that are part of an even broader national network. Other groups include the Upper Chattahoochee, Ogeechee-Canoochie, Altamaha, Satilla and Flint and Coosa.

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Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 03/07/11 - 12:16 pm
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GO TONYA, THIS IS WHY WE LUV

GO TONYA, THIS IS WHY WE LUV YA!

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 03/07/11 - 01:11 pm
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Watermelon organization --

Watermelon organization -- green (environmental) on the outside, red (socialist/communist) on the inside. Stay on your raft and leave us alone!

Brad Owens
4455
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Brad Owens 03/07/11 - 01:22 pm
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Dixieman, what is your

Dixieman, what is your problem man?

Seems this org is great and just wants to help protect our greatest resource, our river.

http://www.savannahriverkeeper.org/

Brad

Boston93
117
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Boston93 03/07/11 - 04:27 pm
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Great job Tonya. Hang in

Great job Tonya. Hang in there gal.....

burninater
9606
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burninater 03/07/11 - 04:43 pm
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One man's "good-natured

One man's "good-natured ridicule" is another man's nastiness in the face of good work. Note for a better community: if you want to project good nature, use something other than ridicule.

Knightryder
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Knightryder 03/07/11 - 04:42 pm
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Because of organizations like

Because of organizations like this one, we cannot drill inside of US for oil. They are too busy worried about wheather some wild animal is going to have a place to take a dump or not. We need to stop letting the cries of enviromental groups rule us as a society, so we can explore our own natural resources and stop being dependent on foreign oil.

burninater
9606
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burninater 03/07/11 - 04:56 pm
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Knightryder, you SERIOUSLY

Knightryder, you SERIOUSLY would be helped by a little research. The U.S. doesn't have sufficient proven reserves to become oil independent. The largest known reserves that can be drilled without significant tax-payer subsidy are in ANWR, and those will cover our needs for about 16 months. Total.

The majority of our domestic oil is in oil shale, a resource that oil companies will NOT develop as it is too expensive. With the exception of ANWR, American on-shore reserves have been used up. If ANWR produced oil independency, environmentalists would have no hope of preventing drilling there. At less than a year-and-a-half of supply, it becomes much harder to justify developing a wildlife refuge.

Finally, viewing environmental issues strictly as worrying about where animals will dump completely ignores the necessary ECONOMIC services provided by undeveloped lands. For example, a recent study of Georgia forest resources showed that currently, Georgia woodlands provide more value per year in, among other things, water treatment and storage, than they are worth as timber and pulp.

KSL
130050
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KSL 03/07/11 - 05:09 pm
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burninater
9606
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burninater 03/07/11 - 05:45 pm
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KSL, that's exactly what I'm

KSL, that's exactly what I'm talking about. That article is about OIL SHALE. The "American oil independence" story you hear thrown about is telling you a half-truth. We do have a ridiculous amount of oil in this country, BUT NOT IN CRUDE OIL. In order to get oil from oil shale, rock needs to be strip-mined in large, open pit mining operations. It then needs to be crushed, mixed in a slurry of water and other chemicals, and then heated for a period of time. It is a water intensive process, and our large reserves are in the intermontane West, where water resources are already fought over. Also, it currently faces serious inefficiencies: in some cases, it has been estimated that it will take MORE than a barrel of oil energy equivalent to EXTRACT a single barrel of oil from some oil shale deposits. Finally, the process is so expensive at the moment, that oil companies have no interest in undergoing the process unless it is SUBSIDIZED.

Hydrofracture is making this process more economical, but it still costs more than private companies are willing to invest (it is a viable process for natural gas, but not petroleum as yet, at least in the U.S. oil shale deposits.)

"Informal current and future production numbers indicate that shale oil is unlikely to be a significant part of global production for a decade or more." -- JEREMY BOAK, EMD Oil Shale Committee Chair (Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists)

Some folks in certain interest groups are seizing on the opportunity to blame enviromentalism for lack of oil shale production, when the simple truth is that it is not a profitable enterprise YET. If we want to socialize the resource to some extent, as is being done in Estonia, Brazil, China, and Canada, then great. Give the oil companies tax-payer money and get to work. Otherwise, we have to wait for this resource to become competitive in a free market.

If you want clear and honest info about this, try these articles by the petroleum industry -- you'll find them to be a bit more informative than blog spin. The first one is a good overview for the layperson:

http://emd.aapg.org/technical_areas/oil_shale.cfm

http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2010/08aug/emd0810.cfm

This wiki article describes the extraction process, so you can see how fundamentally different this is than a traditional oil well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_oil_extraction

Finally KSL, I'd ask you to do a little critical reflection and ask why the particular source you cited withheld all of this extremely pertinent information from its press release, and whether or not that source may need to be viewed with a modicum of skepticism going forward.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 03/07/11 - 05:41 pm
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It takes more than 1 barrel

It takes more than 1 barrel of oil to get to get 1 barrel of oil out of shale. That oil is unattainable. That said we do still have plenty of oil and we need to go after it until it is gone.

While we are doing that, we need to develop tons of nuclear power plants & other alternative energy - that is the only long term solution. We must think for our kids & grandkids.

KSL
130050
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KSL 03/07/11 - 07:45 pm
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Burn, did you read the

Burn, did you read the article? Didn't it say 16$ per barrel?

KSL
130050
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KSL 03/07/11 - 07:47 pm
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And with the price of oil

And with the price of oil headed up, the economic feasibility changes, does it not? I don't think any of us are thinking that oil prices have topped out.

KSL
130050
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KSL 03/07/11 - 07:49 pm
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That site was not the only

That site was not the only source, it was just the quickest one to Google. I actually read a government report several weeks ago. I deleted it and don't care to spend a lot of time trying to find it.

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 03/07/11 - 09:55 pm
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Brad - I do not agree that

Brad - I do not agree that unelected do-gooders should have any power at all. They are unelected and unaccountable. They seem to want to shut down a lot of economic activity along the river and stall economic development. We elect politicians to serve ALL the public, not just segments with narrow interests, and can vote them out if they disregard the will of the people. There is no control over Riverkeepers and I do not agree that they can purport to speak for me. Pete Seeger (Communist) instigated this whole idea, and they are supported by Al Gore, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and people of that ilk.

Brad Owens
4455
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Brad Owens 03/07/11 - 11:26 pm
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So Dixieman, you are for what

So Dixieman, you are for what exactly? Full industrial development along our river?

PWRSPD
0
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PWRSPD 03/08/11 - 01:07 am
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It'll be interesting if some

It'll be interesting if some of ya'lls grandkids have to drink that someday.There's a difference between common sense and tree huggers.

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 03/08/11 - 11:16 am
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Brad Owens - I am for people

Brad Owens - I am for people I elect running things and a sound balance between industrial development (=jobs) and ecological standards. I am not for totally unaccountable know-it-all do-gooders trying to dictate what happens to my river. If you want to contribute to Riverkeeper, go right ahead - that is your right. But I think you ought to examine their real agenda, their accountability (or lack thereof) and their track record.

stairway2nowhere
0
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stairway2nowhere 03/08/11 - 02:34 pm
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hmm and what she uses the

hmm and what she uses the river as a toilet too..... sweet

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 03/09/11 - 11:13 am
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Please stop at 499 members or

Please stop at 499 members or fewer to keep her out on the raft permanently....

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 03/10/11 - 07:02 am
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No news today... Maybe the

No news today...
Maybe the headline should be "Applications on River Slow to a Trickle," yuk yuk.

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