Our Riverkeeper

Dan Tonsmeire Committed to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola River and Bay, Dan Tonsmeire served as Riverkeeper from 2004- February 2018. He now serves as Riverkeeper Emeritus continuing to support Apalachicola Riverkeeper on policy, technical and stakeholder engagement.

Previously, Dan worked as principal coordinator for the development and implementation of the  Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program for the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Prior to that, he was the resident manager of a 1,250-acre wilderness preserve on Dog Island, Florida where Dan facilitated and coordinated research and program development for The Nature Conservancy.

Dan has been a backcountry guide in Idaho, a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and the owner/operator of a small marine construction company in Alabama and Florida.

Georgia Ackerman joined the Apalachicola Riverkeeper team in December 2017 and serves as Riverkeeper and Executive Director. Georgia has been involved with Apalachicola Riverkeeper for over a decade as a business sponsor, a program volunteer and board member.

Georgia is an avid kayaker and outdoor enthusiast. She ran a north Florida ecotourism company for nearly a decade where she spent time learning about the Apalachicola River system and began volunteering with Apalachicola Riverkeeper.  After selling her business in 2013, she was recruited to lead a regional conservation awareness initiative at Tall Timbers. Georgia has also worked with the Red Hills Small Farm Alliance to help promote local, sustainable farming.

On the Apalachicola River during RiverTrek 2017

Georgia believes outside play and wild places are fundamental to both the health of humans and the planet. She says, “People will protect what they love. Also, people depend on this river system for their livelihoods. I’m constantly reminded by people’s actions that so many people deeply care about the Apalachicola River and Bay and the Bay that it nourishes. I’m honored to work on their behalf.”