Big Cheers to 25 Years!

Big Cheers to 25 Years of Protecting the Apalachicola River, Floodplain, and Bay!

December 3, 2023- It was equal parts birthday party and anniversary celebration with a dash of holiday cheer at the Apalachicola Yacht Club where members and supporters of Apalachicola Riverkeeper gathered to commemorate 25 years since the founding of the independent organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola River. We enjoyed birthday cake, music by the wonderfully talented Von Wamps with Leslie Smith on percussion. We delighted in the company of each other, catching up with people who care about the Apalachicola River Basin. We also enjoyed meeting new people who came out to help us celebrate. The room was packed with people spreading out into the outdoor space. About 100 people attended.

David Hilton, board president welcomed the group. Riverkeeper Cameron Baxley provided some reflections on the 2023 programs and initiatives.

Founding member, Andy Smith, shared the story of the first community forum gathering on December 7, 1998, in Eastpoint. Andy along with Shirley Hartley, Dave Hartley, Susan Anderson and others had explored the Riverkeeper concept and organized the community forum 25 years ago to discuss it. A group of 25 residents concerned about the long-term health of the Apalachicola River and Bay came together that day. They agreed an independent group dedicated to thwarting the numerous ecological threats to the Apalachicola River and Bay was needed. A total of $610 was donated and the Apalachicola Bay and River Watch was “born.” The organization became Apalachicola Riverkeeper in 1999.

Long-time supporter and former board member Tom Herzog shared a toast to our supporters.

Here’s a photo album of the event.

We’ll continue celebrating both the victories and challenges of the past 25 years at our March 23, 2024 member meeting. Save the date!


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