Riverkeeper earns two awards

Published 11:08 am Thursday, May 12, 2011

Riverkeeper Jeff Turner on Wednesday was honored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and WHRO Public Media for his work on the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers.

FRANKLIN—The honors are rolling in for the Blackwater Nottoway Riverkeeper organization.
In the last month, the group has received recognition from the Department of Environmental Quality and WHRO Public Media.
BNRP founder Jeff Turner was presented with the bronze Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award at a board meeting Wednesday.
“This is a big deal for us,” Turner said of the award. “It’s a lot of recognition, and we can use all the attention we can get.”

BNRP was given the award because of “good stewardship,” a good educational outreach program and a strong litter pickup program, said Wick Harlan, water quality supervisor for DEQ.
“It’s one of the better programs,” Harlan said. “To me it’s what a riverkeeper program is supposed to be.”
He added that Turner has done a good job of building support for the program and has learned about water quality by asking questions.
“Just about everyone in the office knows Jeff, and we don’t mind,” Harlan said. “We think it’s great. We love to have that kind of input.”
The Riverkeeper program also received a Community Impact Award from WHRO and Dominion Power on Wednesday. The group won the award in the environmental category.
The mission of the BNRP is to protect the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers. Turner is a spokesman for the rivers.
“I act as a liaison for people who use the rivers for recreation,” he said. “I help them if they find a problem.”
The group also educates people on how to keep the rivers clean.
Turner has watched as the Blackwater River has obtained scenic river status and said the entire Nottoway River would soon obtain the status as well.

Click here for video: http://whro.org/home/html/CommunityImpactAwards/index.html