GreenLaw will present its Environmental Hero Award to Dr. Jacqueline Echols at the Annual Environmental Heroes Celebration on October 5, 2017. Dr. Echols has served as Board President of the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) since its founding in 2000.

Media Contact:

Dave Paule
Email: dpaule@greenlaw.org
Telephone: 404-659-3122

GreenLaw to Honor Georgia Environmentalist Dr. Jacqueline Echols with the Environmental Hero Award.


GreenLaw will honor Georgia Environmentalist Dr. Jacqueline Echols with the Environmental Heroes Award at its annual Environmental Heroes Celebration on Thursday, October 5, 2017.  The event will be held at Nelson Mullins at 201 17th Street in Atlantic Station, on the top floor with stunning views of downtown. GreenLaw is a 501(c)3 public interest, environmental law firm providing free high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental and community organizations throughout Georgia.

Jacqueline Echols is a tireless advocate for Georgia’s watersheds and works for their protection through both policy change and community engagement. Dr. Echols has served as Board President of the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) since its founding in 2000. As Board President, she has implemented changes in state National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) sewer overflow permitting, achieved Georgia State Senate support for the South River Water Trail, and hosted countless riverside cleanup; kayaking; and hiking events for the local community.

“Jackie Echols’ work on behalf of the citizens of this state, most particularly those living in DeKalb County and along the South River has been tireless,” said GreenLaw’s executive director, David M. Paule.  “For example, FOG (fats, oils, and grease) is the main cause of sanitary sewer spills in DeKalb County. These spills have huge negative impacts on the county’s streams and rivers. They also cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in sewer pipe repairs and environmental cleanup costs. She is pressing the County Commission for tougher ordinances to address the issue.  Jackie has been more than an advocate for the South River.  She is a keen strategist who fights to ensure that government enforces its own laws.”

Under Dr. Echols’ leadership, the SRWA became the sole intervener in the consent decree between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Dekalb County; assisting with the implementation and ongoing supervision of the consent decree and its regulations on county-caused sewage spills into the local watershed.

Dr. Echols is currently running a community-wide initiative to remove invasive bamboo and privet from the South River corridor and reintroduce the endemic rivercane.  The projects and work of SRWA are intended to restore and protect the South River for wildlife to thrive and people to enjoy.  Restoration is the return of a degraded ecosystem to a close approximation of its remaining natural potential (U.S. EPA).

Urban areas are where most people live and where waterways like the South River are most threatened. Restoration of the South River depends on actively engaging individuals and communities through projects that raise awareness, educate, and connect people to the river.

Also being honored this year at the Environmental Heroes Celebration are Dink NeSmith and The Press-Sentinel with a special Media Recognition Award for Environmental Championship; and legendary Georgia attorney and former Lt. Governor Pierre Howard, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This year’s honorees have helped Georgia’s environment by promoting clean water, fighting coal ash and the protecting beauty of Georgia,” said GreenLaw executive director, David M. Paule.  “The Environmental Heroes Celebration celebrates their work, and highlights its importance.” 

About the Environmental Heroes Award

GreenLaw’s Environmental Heroes Award recognizes the vital contributions of citizen-advocates for the improvement and protection of Georgia’s environment, wilderness and waterways.  While Georgia has a substantial body of environmental law, protection and enforcement often fall to caring individuals dedicated to making a difference.

About the Environmental Heroes Celebration

The Environmental Heroes Celebration is one of the environmental community’s premiere events.  It recognizes members of our community who have shaped Georgia’s future through environmental activism, conservation and legal advocacy.  The event includes heavy appetizers, cocktails, music, networking, a brief honoree award ceremony and a thank you gift.

The Celebration will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at Nelson Mullins at 201 17th Street in Atlantic Station, on the top floor with stunning views of downtown.

Sponsorships and tickets for the event may be purchased at www.greenlaw.org. Tickets are $150 for individuals and $250 for couples.



Note to press: High resolution images are available upon request.

About GreenLaw

As a 501(c)(3) law firm, GreenLaw advocates to preserve Georgia’s unique natural places and enforces compliance with environmental law through the court system.  GreenLaw was founded in 1992 by attorneys, law professors, and judges committed to providing community groups in Georgia with the legal and technical tools needed to protect their environment and public health.  For more information, please visit www.greenlaw.org.