Riverkeeper plans still proceeding

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The Pamlico-Tar River Foundation has purchased its first riverkeeper boat from Grady-White Boats of Greenville, the organization has announced.
Eddie Smith, president and CEO of Grady-White Boats and a longtime supporter of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, has worked with the organization to make the purchase possible, said Mary Alsentzer, PTRF executive director.
Alsentzer added, "We are also extremely grateful to Grady-White Boats for their interest, support and assistance in making this purchase a reality for us. They have supported PTRF for many years and were one of the first major contributors to the PTRF Endowment."
PTRF President Joe Hester accepted the boat from Smith on March 27 at Grady-White's Greenville facility.
PTRF announced in January that it had received a $50,000 grant over a two-year period from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to enable it to launch a riverkeeper program. An appropriate boat is required by Waterkeeper Alliance for licensure, the PTRF news release says.
In its 22nd year of operation, PTRF is a grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the Tar-Pamlico River, its estuarine areas and watershed.
The Waterkeeper Alliance connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs to provide a voice for waterway communities worldwide, its Web site says. It is dedicated to promoting watershed protection. The Web site points out, "The Waterkeeper program names, such as 'Riverkeeper,' 'Lakekeeper,' 'Baykeeper,' 'Coastkeeper' and others, are synonymous with effective citizen action."
The alliance's Board of Directors approves new Waterkeeper programs after it ascertains they are compatible with the alliance's purposes and goals, sustainable and beneficial for the places where they are proposed, the Web site notes.
"We are in the process of hiring our first riverkeeper, licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance," Alsentzer said in the PTRF news release. "The Pamlico-Tar riverkeeper will enable our organization to reach a new level of environmental protection," she added. "This has been a goal of the organization, and something I feel is necessary to maximize our effectiveness."
In a telephone interview with the Daily News on Monday, Alsentzer said, "Today was the last day for resumes to come in."
She estimated the organization had received between 20 and 25. "Some of them are very qualified," she said of the people who had applied.
Asked about the timetable for having the riverkeeper begin work, Alsentzer responded, "I can't say exactly when that will happen," though she hopes the person will be on staff by the first of June.
For more information about PTRF or the Pamlico-Tar riverkeeper program, persons may contact the PTRF office (info@ptrf.org).