Ogeechee Riverkeeper Dianna Wedincamp is stepping down from her post after 10 years of working to protect the Ogeechee River basin.
Wedincamp announced Monday her plans to leave the organization in order to start an independent environmental-consulting firm with her husband, Dr. Jim Wedincamp, according to a news release from the organization.
“This was a hard decision to make, but I know that it is the right decision,” Wedincamp said in the release. “As riverkeeper, I have worked hard to keep the issues alive and address all who are affected.
“However, none of my work would have been possible without the countless others who fight the tireless fight every day, standing up for our right to clean water and clean air in our communities and across the state. I salute you for all your hard work.”
Wedincamp was a founding member of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper organization and took the organization’s top post in April 2011 when Chandra Brown stepped down as executive director.
While the organization looks to fill the position, Emily Markesteyn will serve as interim director.
“My passion remains strong for continuing this work as I begin the next stage of my career,” Wedincamp said. “I wish Emily Markesteyn and everyone at ORK all the best and will continue to support this critical work which is needed now more than ever.”
Ann Hartzell, Ogeechee Riverkeeper board of directors chair, commended Wedincamp for her work and efforts during her tenure.
“A riverkeeper is a position that takes energy, passion, dedication and an open mind that requires the ability to work with people from all walks of life. These are all qualities Dianna has shown throughout the past 10 years” Hartzell said. “We will miss Dianna, but we know that she has been an inspiration for so many who will follow in her footsteps.”
Wedincamp led efforts to hold Screven County-based textile mill King America Finishing accountable for actions that have been blamed for one of the largest fish kills in Georgia’s history. As a result, Ogeechee Riverkeeper took legal action that was followed by the state’s revocation of King America’s permit.
Most recently, Wedincamp persuaded environmental activist Erin Brockovich to lend her support to Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s efforts to stop the pollution of the river.