Ansley Park's Bethea: A ‘Hero of the New South’

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper co-founder honored by Southern Living magazine for her eco-preservation efforts.

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Executive Director and Riverkeeper Sally Bethea was honored on Tuesday by Southern Living magazine as one of its “Heroes of the New South.” The honorees will be featured in the magazine’s March issue, which hits newsstands on Feb. 24.

The Ansley Park neighborhood resident, who helped co-found UCR in 1994, won in the “Eco-Preservation” category “as an individual recognized for fighting tirelessly to preserve the beauty of the region’s natural resources,” the magazine said in a press release. See a full list of the winners here and a picture of Bethea in the magazine here

“I am very honored by this recognition and pleased to accept it as one of the 200 waterkeepers around the world who are working daily for clean, healthy waterways in their communities,” Bethea said in a statement.

Winners were chosen by the magazine and a panel of jurors, based on the following criteria:

Contribution to Southern culture: Commitment to driving Southern culture forward via personal grassroots efforts or within an organization

Innovation: Forward-thinking individuals and organizations that put new spins on traditions

Impact on the community: Regional and local reach throughout the South

Scope of reach: Amount of community influence on a national, regional, and local level

Advancement: How contributions will impact future generations.

Bethea has 30-plus years of experience in environmental issues. She has served on the national boards of Waterkeeper Alliance and River Network, and the Georgia Board of Natural Resources (1999-2007). Currently, she is a member of the board of Earth Share of Georgia.

The mission of UCR, located on the Westside at 916 Joseph Lowery Boulevard, is to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River, its lakes and tributaries for the people, fish and wildlife that depend upon it. The Chattahoochee is the most heavily used water resource in Georgia. For more information, visit here.


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