A resolution with highest commendations was presented by the CPYRWMA to Dr. Bennett Lee Bearden for outstanding professional achievements and exceptional service to the State of Alabama and the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority. Bennett is Chief of Staff to the State Geologist, Assistant State Geologist, and served as Director of the Water Policy and Law Institute at the University of Alabama. He was appointed by the Governor of the State of Alabama as Chairman of the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group (AWAWG) in 2012 charged with developing water policy and a comprehensive water management plan for the State where he oversaw all activities of the Governor’s water policy task force including development of Mapping the Future of Alabama Water Resources Management, Policy Options and Recommendations, the first report of policy options and recommendations in the Alabama water resources spectrum since 1990, he also served as Special Counsel to the Governor on Water Law and Policy from 2013 – 2017, providing strategic legal and public policy counsel to the State of Alabama.

He is a member of the Alabama State Bar; Washington D.C.; the Law Society of England and Wales; the United States Supreme Court Bar; the Federal Bar, U. S. Court of Appeals; and the Alabama and National District Attorneys Association; authored or co-authored over 141 books, publications, and papers, and co-authored and co-edited the leading casebook on water law and policy, Cases and Materials on Water Law, 9th edition. Bearden served as a Technical Advisor to the Board of Directors of the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority from 2014 – 2021 and still provides invaluable and unwavering support and advice to the Board and promotes the agency in all areas of the State of Alabama as the most appropriate and effective concept for watershed management.

Dr. Bearden is commended for his exceptional knowledge, expertise, and professional achievements and for his dedication and support of the Board of Directors. He is deserving of recognition, and it is with great appreciation and commendation for his services to the State of Alabama and to this agency, that the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority presented him this special Resolution.