Job Title: Satilla Riverkeeper (RK), Satilla RiverWatch Alliance, Inc.
Job Location: Satilla River watershed. The office is now located at the Okefenokee Swamp Park, just east of Waycross, GA.
Introduction: The Board of Directors of Satilla RiverWatch Alliance, Inc., (Board) seeks an outgoing professional to serve as Satilla Riverkeeper® (RK). The RK is responsible for the organization’s environmental action and a portion of its business matters. The RK answers to the Board and is expected to reside in the watershed. The job involves a normal workweek, M-F, plus events throughout the year that occur in evenings or on weekends, including river paddles, trash cleanups, fundraisers, workshops, and community outreach events.
The Satilla RiverWatch Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance®. It has an annual budget of approximately $120,000 with growth potential. The operating budget comes from donations, grants, and proceeds from an annual gala and other fundraisers.
The mission of the Satilla RiverWatch Alliance, Inc. is to protect, restore, and educate about the Satilla River, a beautiful and ecologically unique blackwater river that spans parts of 15 counties in southeastern Georgia. From its headwater tributaries to its ocean outlet between Cumberland and Jekyll Islands, the Satilla flows over 200 miles. Cities in the watershed include Brunswick, Waycross, Douglas, and Baxley, among others, and is home to 120,000 people. The Satilla River is a blackwater coastal plain river with unique fish and wildlife. Planted pine forest, coastal sands and clays, and wetlands define much of the region’s landscape.
To accomplish the mission, the RK must establish rapport with the general public and policy makers throughout the watershed, industry environmental professionals, environmental agency personnel, potential funding organizations, and partners throughout Georgia and beyond, including the Georgia Water Coalition, the Georgia River Network, and other Riverkeepers. These various bodies bring diverse points of view to a given issue.
• Degree in natural, physical, behavioral sciences, or relevant experience in ecology or environmental policy work;
• Advanced degree, or relevant experience with an environmental nonprofit, agency, consulting or law firm;
• Experience with complex issues that require organizational effectiveness and attention to detail;
• Socially confident and empathetic, ability to engage and influence a variety of stakeholders, community, and staff; and to anticipate unique needs of different audiences;
• Networking and the ability to build community and collaborative relationships;
• Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills; • Fundraising and community organizing abilities;
• Skilled with current and emerging electronic media and communication methods;
• Familiarity with personal computer and online tools, including word processing and spreadsheets;
• Ability to learn our existing onsite donation-receiving software and hardware, and work with the Treasurer and volunteers to operate other fundraising software useful during events;
• Experience with environmental field measurements, evidence evaluation, and data interpretation;
• Ability to operate a small boat on the river;
• Ability to work year-round in the southeastern Georgia environment;
• Driver’s license and independent transportation;
• Ability to lift 40 lbs.;
• Skills with or willingness to learn how to operate a drone;
• Comfort with public speaking;
• Ability to supervise staff, temporary interns, and volunteers;
• Willingness to work various events that occur on weekends and evenings.
Supervisor: The RK reports directly to the Board.
To be most effective with the mission, the RK is given a good deal of freedom to operate and devise the way forward, networking with others, and soliciting advice from the Board as needed. The Board in turn manages the RK through its written policies, its advice if solicited, and an annual performance evaluation done with respect to a general expectation of progress with the mission, adherence to written policies and work plans, and the various elements and flexibilities afforded by this job description.
Starting salary and benefits: Salary Range: $46,000- $52,000 depending on experience. Benefits include health insurance options, employer-matched retirement savings plan, and generous paid time-off.
Salary growth potential: Determined by Board of Directors through an annual evaluation of mission effectiveness, member support, and available financial means.
Position availability: Position will remain open until filled.
Application deadline: Preference will be given to applications received by April 21th 2023. Later applications considered at the discretion of the Search Committee.
To apply: Applications accepted by e-mail. Send resumé, names and contact information of three references, and a letter stating your reasons for interest in the position to:
James A. Cottingham
Satilla Riverkeeper Search Committee
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel. (912) 381-6346
After an initial screening, the following may be requested: complete curriculum vitae, college transcripts, proof of any professional certifications, an example document you have written, and three letters of recommendation.
Additional details of the position:
The Satilla RiverWatch Alliance advocates for policy and actions favorable for sustaining, restoring, and appreciating river water quality, quantity, habitat for endemic fish and wildlife, and serenity. We actively work with environmentally-regulated industries, government agencies, and legislators to reduce pollution in the river. We base advocacy on scientific evidence, an understanding of engineering limitations, the support of our members, and familiarity with laws, regulations, and the legislative process. The organization is committed to an evidence-based and policy-based approach to addressing issues. The successful candidate must share this commitment.
To accomplish our mission, we must be aware of disturbances and pollutants of water and soil as they affect the river. The RK is expected to patrol the river, investigate pollution complaints, review and comment on environmental permit changes, report violations, encourage government to appropriately enforce the law, and use all the tools in their toolbox to protect the river and the communities that rely on it. We ask our members to be our eyes and ears. We first pursue cooperation with polluters and regulators. If that fails, we can work with other environmental organizations in Georgia, including nonprofit environmental law firms should a lawsuit become necessary.
In addition to being the lead advocate for the mission, the RK will supervise a full or part-time staff and occasional interns and will coordinate volunteers for river monitoring and various fundraising, educational, and river-appreciation events. Members of the Board of Directors and the general members of the organization are often called upon to help with these events.
The job has three main aspects: 1) helping to coordinate running the business of a nonprofit Waterkeeper® organization, 2) being the “go to” person for addressing environmental issues that pertain to the river and its watershed, and 3) fundraising that includes event planning. The RK is also responsible for membership recruitment and related public awareness efforts.
Since the position involves a broad range of actions for which few will be fully prepared, it essential to know how to learn independently. The successful candidate must maintain the status of the organization as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity and ensure that the organization adheres to the Quality Standards of the Waterkeeper Alliance. The RK must use effective people skills to motivate volunteers, stimulate donations, and educate the public about the river. The successful applicant will need to network with other Riverkeepers and environmental groups and learn aspects of environmental regulation and science as issues arise. The RK must also see that bills are paid, and databases and equipment maintained, including membership, computers, a small outboard motorboat & trailer, 6 kayaks & trailer, and field data collection equipment.
Environmental concerns include impacts to fish, wildlife, public health, wetlands, tidal marshes, river and subsurface water quantity and water quality. Ongoing activities to be monitoring may include titanium and zirconium sand mining, forestry practices, wastewater treatment, fuel pipelines, paper mills, coal-fired power plants, solid and hazardous waste disposal sites, poultry processing, agricultural practices, residential and industrial development, and invasive plant and animal species. The Satilla RK position provides an opportunity to positively impact the environment of southeastern Georgia and to join coalitions to protect Georgia’s coast and all of Georgia’s natural waters.
Since the job is complex with more to do for the environment than can be done, the RK must focus on activities within the scope of the organization that are aligned with our mission.