Durham, NC -- American Rivers announced today that it has hired a new Associate Director for River Restoration to help North Carolina communities remove unsafe and outdated dams.
As the Associate Director of River Restoration, Lynnette Batt will work with communities across the state to restore healthy rivers by providing technical assistance and general guidance in the planning, development, and implementation of these projects. Removing dams and other barriers can bring a wide variety of benefits, including improving community safety, boosting water quality, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, improving natural flood control, increasing outdoor activities, and revitalizing local economies.
“This new position at American Rivers illustrates our commitment to river restoration in the state of North Carolina. We are delighted to have such a talented professional as Lynnette joining our team,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers.
For more than ten years, American Rivers has led a national effort to restore rivers through removing dams that no longer make sense. This effort has enabled a gradual shift in society’s view of dams, and dramatically increased consideration of dam removal as a reasonable and beneficial option for restoring rivers.
Earlier this year, American Rivers helped the citizens of Rockingham, NC when they and their partners removed Steeles Mill Dam on Hitchcock Creek. That project restored more than 15 miles of fish habitat and involves the creation of a new 10 mile blue trail, the water equivalent to a hiking trail, which will create fun and accessible paddling opportunities. American Rivers hopes to repeat this success in other North Carolina communities with Lynnette’s help. (Visit American Rivers' Flickr page to see images of this project.)
“I am thrilled to join an organization that has been instrumental in many of the major river restoration and protection initiatives of the past few decades,” said Lynnette Batt, Associate Director for River Restoration at American Rivers. “I am looking forward to working with communities across the state to help revitalize our rivers.”
Prior to joining American Rivers, Batt worked for URS Corporation in Raleigh, North Carolina. As an Environmental Planner, she collaborated with state and federal agencies, consultants, and local communities to ensure the completion of multi-year transit projects. She drafted technical reports describing the water resource conditions in a given project area, and performed stream and wetland assessments. During her time at URS, Batt was also instrumental in the programming and design of a Water Resources Environmental Education Center.
Batt also worked as a Coastal Planning and Policy Associate for the North Carolina Coastal Federation. She collaborated with multiple stakeholder groups to develop a watershed action plan for the Lockwood Folly River. While working to protect this river, Batt drafted North Carolina’s first watershed-based stormwater permit.
Lynnette’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Environmental Studies, with a focus on Aquatic Ecology, from Bowdoin College and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. During her time at Duke University, Lynnette participated in the Duke Environmental Leadership Program as a Community Outreach Coordinator and she received a Community Service Award from the Duke Environmental Leadership Program for her leadership efforts.
Lynnette has also focused her knowledge and passion for the environment on a project called Sustainable Stables. She and her co-developer, Clay Nelson, offer guidance on green practices for the equestrian community.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.