Tim joined the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program in 2005 and has served as the program's Deputy Director since 2009. The Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program is a volunteer based program that works to inform and empower citizens to monitor, protect, and improve their local waterways. With over 51 programs in 20 different states, Water Sentinels provides over 12,000 volunteers with the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, while tackling complex environmental issues. The program organizes river and stream cleanups, trains citizens to test their local waterways for harmful substances, provides environmental education and outdoor activities for children, and more. Tim works with volunteers and communities across the nation to address a wide range of environmental issues associated with water contamination, from agricultural runoff to sewer overflows to coal mining and more.
Over the years, Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program has provided invaluable support for the Club's Environmental Law Program. Tim has worked closely with the law program's attorneys to bring greater attention to the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on waterways and communities in Appalachia. In 2008, Sierra Club filed a federal lawsuit against Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Company for illegally burying streams with mining waste from its mountaintop removal coal mine near the Fish Trap Lake reservoir in eastern Kentucky. Sierra Club and its coalfield allies reached an agreement with Clintwood Elkhorn in 2009, which required the company to pay approximately $250,000 to fund restoration work in the Levisa Fork watershed, a tributary of Fish Trap Lake most affected by the illegal mining. Tim played a key role in finalizing the agreement, working with local residents and state agency officials to identify restoration projects that were important to the local community.
Through the Water Sentinels Program, Tim continues to support the law program's work to stop coal mining companies from polluting waterways in Appalachia. Tim coordinates water quality testing and monitoring to strengthen the Club's legal work to hold coal mining companies accountable for discharging toxic pollution into America's streams and rivers, and to compel government regulators to strengthen their oversight of coal mining.
The Water Sentinels also partners with Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers and the National Military Fish & Wildlife Association to provide fly fishing opportunities to tens of thousands of youth annually across the nation. In 2010, the Water Sentinels were successful in getting 185,000 kids outdoors. Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program also partners with a number of other organizations, including, but not limited to, Clean Water Network, Water Protection Network, Gulf Restoration Network, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and River Network.
See more of the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program.