Birmingham River Heroes honored at Alabama Rivers Alliance annual river celebration

FrankChitwood e1553600684819 Birmingham River Heroes honored at Alabama Rivers Alliance annual river celebration
Coosa Riverkeeper’s Justinn Overton, Frank Chitwood and Karli Riley. Photo by Charles Miller.

Earlier this month, the Alabama Rivers Alliance recognized leaders from Birmingham and across the state at their River Celebration Awards Banquet as part of their annual Alabama Water Rally conference.

The River Celebration Awards Banquet is an evening devoted to the recognition of those special organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward river protection in Alabama..

Nominations are submitted by members of the Alabama Rivers Alliance.

“Much of the work of these individuals and organizations goes largely unrecognized except in our own circles,” Cindy Lowry, executive director of Alabama Rivers Alliance, said. “We cherish the opportunity to honor their work and service with our River Celebration Awards and are proud to work alongside them defending our rivers throughout Alabama.”

The recipients of the 2019 River Celebration Awards were:

LauraQ Birmingham River Heroes honored at Alabama Rivers Alliance annual river celebration
Alabama Rivers Alliance Executive Director and Alabama Environmental Council’s Laura Quattrochi. Photo by Charles Miller

Emerging Leader of the Year – Laura Quattrochi, Alabama Environmental Council, for her commitment to the things in her life she cares most about, her belief in herself and her willingness to take on responsibility with the ARA Junior Board, Birmingham Artwalk, and so much more.

Volunteer of the Year – Daniel West, for his dedication to nonprofit organizations across Alabama.

River Heroes

SarahStokes e1553601848298 Birmingham River Heroes honored at Alabama Rivers Alliance annual river celebration
SELC’s Gil Rogers and Sarah Stokes with Alabama Rivers Alliance’s Cindy Lowery. Photo by Charles Miller

In addition to these awards, four individuals were also recognized with the highest achievement award of RIVER HERO.

According to ARA, this recognition is given to passionate individuals who have had a profound impact on Alabama’s river movement through their hard work and leadership. They go above and beyond to protect our rivers, our health and our environment through building partnerships and connections, empowering citizens and/or advocating for sound water policy and enforcement.

The 2019 RIVER HEROES are:

Frank Chitwood (Coosa Riverkeeper)
Fred Couch (Alabama Scenic River Trail)
Jim Felder (Alabama Scenic River Trail)
Sarah Stokes (Southern Environmental Law Center)

Alabama Rivers Alliance

Founded in 1993, the Alabama Rivers Alliance is dedicated  to protect and  restore Alabama’s rivers. They advocate for smart water policy, organize at the grassroots level, and teach citizens how they can protect their water. To learn more about them visit

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

Articles: 2004