New middle Chattachoochee river guardian group appoints executive director

Once it was the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, then it became Chattahoochee RiverWatch, and now it’s Chattahoochee RiverWarden – same idea, different name.

Area environmental activists once more have formed a nonprofit group of river guardians to protect and preserve the middle stretch of the river from West Point Lake to the Florida line.

They began meeting last fall and over the summer formed a nonprofit corporation called Chattahoochee RiverWarden. Today they announced they’d hired an executive director, Roger Martin, a retired corporate executive who for three years was development director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper. He and wife Gay moved to Columbus in January.

Martin said the organization plans to open an office in the Eufaula, Ala., area within a year. It has a $125,000 matching challenge grant to assist in formation and development and is seeking donations and volunteers.

The group’s board of directors includes President Elizabeth Dreelin; Vice-President George Walker III; Treasurer Jason Blair, Secretary John Woodward, and Stephen Johnston; Milton Jones; Steve Sammons; and Georgia House Rep. Debbie Buckner.The organization now is seeking directors from the Eufaula and Dothan, Ala., and Blakely and Bainbridge, Ga., areas.