Monday, August 21, 2006

Altamaha Coastkeeper Needed to Protect One of Georgia's "Hidden Treasures"

This AP story caught my eye because of the Mighty Altamaha River's importance to our state. The river, that also includes the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers as offshoots, is one of the more unique on the east coast and the third largest. Best of all for Georgians, it's completely ours as it flows from north Georgia to Darien on the sea. It's a great resource, and is often referred to as the "Amazon of North America.". But when something goes wrong, we can't blame Alabama, South Carolina, etc. for the problem. It's all out fault. And unfortunately, because of development and industrial waster near the river and coast, a "Coastkeeper" is now needed to help monitor what's happening with polution.

A new coastkeeper would represent coastal issues, since the field work and advocacy roles are more work than one person can do effectively, Sheppard said.

The work is important because development is bumping up against nature across coastal Georgia, including in Darien, where condos now sit on marsh.

"We need the citizens helping. They can smell it," Holland said of pollution.


For those that haven't had a chance to see WSB's special on the "Hidden Treasures of Georgia," please do so. It includes a segment on the Altamaha River that uses more than words to show how important the Altamaha River is to us.

As a native southwest Georgian, I was glad to see the special included Thomasville's "Big Oak" and Pebble Hill Plantation, Albany's Radium Springs, the Okeefenokee, and Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon."

I'm sometimes amazed when my Atlanta friends comment that "there's nothing in south Georgia." They just don't know, or they haven't taken the time or interest to find out. But the truth is our state is one of the most diverse geographically and ecologically. South Georgia is a big part of that. It's not all farmland and piney woods. There are a lot of unspoiled natural riches from Cumberland Island to the Chattahoochee, as well as historical landmarks.


Tina said...

Good stuff in South Georgia....Chewhaw Park near Albany is a really nice (and non-commercial) animal park. I like it a whole lot better than the Atlanta zoo. The Agrirama at Tifton is worth a stop too. Of course it all depends on what you like...and I'm a country girl.

Button Gwinnett said...

I like Cheehaw too. Unfortunately, I have a friend that learned to dislike llamas there. She got spit on by one and she hasn't had any use for them since. ;-)