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Arkansas Ozarks Waterkeeper, Inc. Board Members

Founding Directors Lin Wellford, Carol Bitting, Terri Bitting, Glenda Allison and Teresa Turk

Strong activist roots and a commitment to preserving and protecting water quality were the primary motivations behind establishing a Waterkeeper organization for the waterways of Northwest Arkansas.  Our members recognize the need for a dedicated effort by concerned citizens to ensure that our precious and beloved waterways remain healthy enough to support a robust fish population, a safe place to swim and recreate and an asset to the communities that enjoy them.  

ABOUT US

Arkansas Ozarks Waterkeeper's mission is to protect the public health and natural resources through advocacy, education, collaboration and research, and to see that existing regulations are enforced

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Terri Bitting

AOW Boardmember

President

Terri...

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Lin Wellford

AOW Boardmember

Secretary

Lin Wellford moved to the Ozarks with her young family in 1978, and lived just up the road  from Osage Creek, a major tributary to the Kings River. She and her husband Klaus were active in the Carroll County community as business owners, parents, and through membership in a number of organizations. Lin discovered kayaking over twenty years ago and took part in numerous river cleanups before joining the Kings River Watershed Partnership Board.  She also served on the board of the Carroll-Madison Public Library Foundation and was long-time co-chair or Books in Bloom, a popular literary festival. But her true passion is to protect the waterways that were a major draw when she moved to the area. Having grown up in Florida, she witnessed how quickly natural systems can be knocked out of balance by human activities. The threat of degradation of the Buffalo River spurred her to learn more about the damage that can be done by overuse of nutrients in areas with karst geology.  She helped found Ozark River Stewards because she knew that if a national river could not be protected from pollution, no Ozark waterway was safe. Along with Carol Bitting and Nancy Haller, she was one of the Three Buffalo Grandmothers who took legal action against expansion of pastures where hog manure could be spread.

Much was learned in the process of fighting to save the Buffalo, and it was clear that shared resources would continue to face challenges, so the opportunity to take over and rebuild a Waterkeeper Organization was one she could not pass up. Now retired from a successful career as an author and artist, she moved to a cabin along Osage Creek after her husband passed away, and is reminded every day of what a treasure clean, clear healthy water is.

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Teresa Turk

AOW Boardmember

Treasurer

Teresa grew up in Arkansas (Little Rock and Texarkana) exploring the Southern pine forests, hiking the Ouachita Trail and floating the Buffalo National River. She received her BS in Zoology and MA in Anthropology at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, she headed west to Alaska and started working in the Bering Sea on board Soviet factory trawlers. She returned to school and received her MS in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington. Eventually this turned into a 25 year career as a fisheries scientist with NOAA Fisheries where she developed domestic and international natural resource monitoring and stock assessment survey programs.

Upon returning to Fayetteville in 2012, Teresa started her own environmental consulting company focused on marine science and policy. Teresa was also part of a research team investigating the C&H hog operation in Mt. Judea and continues to spearhead the collection of monthly water quality samples. She is a founding member of the Ozark River Stewards and works with a suite of other environmental organizations throughout the state.  In 2018, Teresa was elected to the Fayetteville City Council where she was instrumental in blocking the proposed Arkansas Nutrient Trading Regulation No. 37 and sponsored the resolution to ban expanded polystyrene (EPS) from being used in Fayetteville. In her spare time, she likes to bike, hike, kayak and make documentary films about local Arkansans. 

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Glenda Allison

AOW Boardmember

Vice-President

Glenda is a devoted protector of Ozark Waterways. She's participated in many river cleanups, serves on the board of the Kings River Watershed Partnership, and was an active member of the Ozark River Stewards. She is also involved in the current fundraising effort to build a new public library building in Berryville. Glenda has lived in the Ozarks for over four decades. She raised her three children in the area and now has grandchildren growing up here as well, a motivating factor as she wants to insure that they, too, will be able to enjoy swimming, paddling and fishing in local rivers and creeks.

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Dannelle Tomarchio

AOW Boardmember

Social Media & Fundraisers

Dannelle grew up on the Kings River, 4 miles upstream from HWY 62 bridge. She has treasured memories of floating under overhanging trees in an old tire inner tube on lazy summer days. She remembers catching crawdads with her grandparents, and the rugged one-lane access once used to get to Trigger Gap. Now she wants her son and future generations to have the opportunity to make their own sweet memories. One of her goals in life is to always remain a Waterkeeper and advocate for the waterways that mean so much to the livelihood and wellbeing of the people of Arkansas. The river is her happy place!

Dannelle is a 10 year Air Force veteran who's worn many hats. She's worked in a number of different fields, including non-profit, municipal and federal government, finance, fundraising, special events, sports, youth groups, program management, design, food industry, and inventory. She volunteered for the Alzheimer's Association which led to raising $150,000 for the cause through RivALZ, a National campaign involving a yearly flag-football game. Dannelle received a BA in Sports Management from Wichita State University, she has an AAS and 8+ years of experience in accounting, and she also has an AAS in Electronic Systems Technology from the USAF.

In her spare time, Dannelle is an avid outdoorsman and wilderness guide. She mentors and coaches young softball athletes and created Debbie's Diamonds, a fund that helps dedicated athletes financially with equipment and high costs of competitive sport. And she survived 21 days in the bush of South Africa on Discovery Channel's: Naked & Afraid! Let's just say... she likes to be outside!