Alabama Rivers Alliance awards SELC attorney 2019 “River Hero”

Gil Rogers, Director of SELC’s Georgia and Alabama offices, and Cindy Lowry, Executive Director of ARA, present Sarah Stokes with a 2019 “River Hero” award for her dedication to protecting Alabama’s waterways. (© Alabama Rivers Alliance)

The Alabama Rivers Alliance recognized leaders from across the state at their River Celebration Awards Banquet as part of their annual Alabama Water Rally conference at Camp Beckwith earlier this month on Weeks Bay in Fairhope.

As part of an evening devoted to the recognition of special organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward river protection in Alabama, four recipients were recognized with the highest achievement award of the 2019 River Heroes, including SELC Senior Attorney Sarah Stokes.

“Much of the work of these individuals and organizations goes largely unrecognized except in our own circles,” said Cindy Lowry, executive director of Alabama Rivers Alliance. “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.”

This ultimate recognition is given to passionate individuals who have had a profound impact on Alabama's river movement through their hard work and leadership, going above and beyond to protect the state’s rivers, health, and environment through building partnerships and connections, empowering citizens, and advocating for sound water policy and enforcement.

Stokes has played a key role in protecting Alabama’s waters over the past several years, including her work to implement better stormwater management practices, successfully challenging longstanding wastewater violations, securing better protections for water quality and wildlife on the Coosa River, and continuing to advocate for a comprehensive statewide water management plan.

Stokes has also been recognized by the Cahaba River Society as the Cahaba Conservationist of the Year, and by the Alabama State Bar for her dedication to public service and pro bono work.

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