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GRN banner2013 Monthly Photo Showcase and GRN Staff Pick of the Month

We want to give a BIG high five to Cindy Leighton, who submitted the winning Staff Pick photo of July’s Showcase

Best Paddle Georgia 2013 Photo

 Cindy Leighton

‘Mysteries Await’

Check out the slide show below to see all of the amazing photos submitted!

July Photo showcase

Make sure to get those creative juices flowing for August’s Topic:

Funniest Paddling Photo

So this is the scoop, each month we have a different theme and invite you to send us a photo that you think best represents the topic of the month.

We will showcase everyone’s photos on our website and social media and one photo per month will receive the illustrious title of ‘GRN Staff Pick of the Month’ and the chosen photo’s author will receive a surprise token of gratitude.

We will accept photo entries up until the third week of each month and announce the GRN staff pick and showcase all photo submissions the last week of each month. Submit your August’s photo entry NOW to Gwyneth@garivers.org

August‘s theme:

Funniest Paddling Photo

Check out the 2013 Monthly Themes:

Looking forward to seeing your AMAZING photos!
Mary and Kit Flamingo Flotilla
Want to see more photos from Paddle Georgia 2013?
Georgia River Network
126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605
706-549-4508
http://www.garivers.org
Become a Member Today –
Join

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We have officially reached the half-way point of Paddle Georgia 2013 with 3 DSC_6363days of awesome paddling behind us and 3 more ahead. Everyone really enjoyed their stay at Chehaw with their friendly staff, beautiful grounds and comfortable facilities and we were all sad to leave, but excited about the new digs in Camilla.

P1010089

Although everyone seemed to cringe at the mention of a 21 mile paddle – the current was the fastest we’ve had yet and we scooted swiftly along.P1000943

P1000998Playful paddlers, as always we encountered hoola hooping in the morning and bubbles in the afternoon.P1010050

Red Tailed Hawks, Belted P1000653Kingfisher, Bob Whites, Pileated woodpeckers, and Green Heron could be heard and occasionally seen through the canopy that shrouded the winding river.P1010062

The limestone caves along this stretch were beautiful and mysterious with their tight crevices and dangling ferns that formed curtains on the rock walls surrounding the cave mouth.

Twisted, gnarly roots of Sycamore and Cypress trees reached out like fingers and hands holding back the river bank, their knees jutting up out of the water resembling mud castles at the beach.P1000972

And even with the usual swimming, lounging, and jumping from rope swings paddlers completed the trip in record time, and were shuttled to our new home of Mitchell County High School.

And what a better way to end the day than with an awesome street party in Camilla!P1010115 It was great to see everyone boogying down and enjoying themselves so immensely.

Looking forward to another day in South Georgia paradise tomorrow!

Keep on rollin’ down the river,

Gwyneth Moody

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Tallapoosa Canoe trail coming together

by Amy K. Lavender/The Tallapoosa Journal

TallapoosariverA project that has been in the works for two years may finally be coming to fruition, says Tallapoosa Planning Coordinator Patrick Clarey, as the city of Tallapoosa is nearing the end of the requirements it must meet to get the Dub Denman Canoe Trail officially up and running.

According to Clarey, the city has been moving forward with the Georgian Department and Natural Resources on two of the original five proposed sites that would be loading and unloading zones for kayaks and canoes.

Five sites along the Tallapoosa River were originally being considered for trail access points, including two on county property. The other three sites are on private property that will require the landowners’ permission before development.

Starting at the northernmost site in Tallapoosa, the sites include locations just east of U.S. Highway 27 on Garner Road; on East Poplar Springs Road near the old steel bridge; on Georgia Highway 100 near the Haralson County Water Authority Treatment Plant; at the bridge crossing on Broad Street; and Liner Road’s rail road trestle, just west of U.S. Highway 78.

Several months ago, the city applied for their variance that will allow them to disturb the creek bed to build access ramps at two of the proposed locations: the ones at Broad Street and Poplar Springs Road. After getting approval, the city was required to run an advertisement and allow for public comment for 30 days.

“We notified the EPD (Environmental Protection Division) in Atlanta that we’ve completed that, so we’re just waiting on confirmation,” Clarey said.

Clarey is coordinating the implementation of the canoe trail. The project was originally researched by Clarey after Haralson County resident and river enthusiast Dub Denman suggested it to the Tallapoosa City Council. Since then, the council and the Haralson County Board of Commissioners have expressed their support and a grant of $51,150 has been awarded to the county by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to pay for the trail’s access points. The access points are expected to include concrete staircases and wooden canoe launches where needed, as well as gravel parking lots, trash receptacles and signage.

Now, Clarey says several officials and volunteers may soon reap the fruit of their labor as they are only waiting to get the go ahead from DNR and for the river level to drop before beginning construction on the Broad Street and Poplar Springs Road sites.

“The goal is to do it when the river is low,” Clarey said. “We’re anxious to get something started, so we’ll probably start on those two sites between June and August, unless the river dries up a bit before then.”

Clarey said the site located at the Water Authority Treatment Plant will require more planning before getting approval, as a route around the intake valve needs to be established for river tourists. The other two sites are on private property and are still being negotiated with the owners.

However, despite the fact that the canoe trail may only have two access points this year, Clarey said those who put in at these sites can still paddle most of the trail, which is 23.8 miles long along the Tallapoosa River, and then link up with a canoe trail in Alabama and use that state’s access points as well.

Even with partial completion, Clarey says the trail will be a “fantastic recreational activity” for area residents as well as visitors.

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Just in case you haven’t heard the word:

GRN is introducing the 2013 Monthly Photo Showcase and GRN Staff Pick of the Month!

photocontest picThis is the FINAL DAY to submit January’s Photo of:

* * *YOUR FAVORITE PHOTO of 2012 * *

Each month we will have a different theme and invite you to email us a photo that you think best represents the topic of the month. We will showcase everyone’s photos on our website and social media and one photo per month will receive the illustrious title of ‘GRN Staff Pick of the Month’ and the chosen photo’s author will receive a surprise token of gratitude.

So get those cameras poised and creative juices flowing. Email your photo submission to gwyneth@garivers.org.

Check out more details and a sneak peek of the 2013 Monthly Themes:
http://ow.ly/gKakg

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CLAM JAM 2012

November 3rd     2:00 p.m.     Pine Marsh Farm

Handmade Rustic Bench made from vintage doors. One of many fantastic Clam Jam auction items.

The list is growing, see more at: http://www.altamahariverkeeper.org/events/clamJam-auction-2012.asp
Celebrate the Bounty of our Coastal Treasures- with Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, Pecan Smoked Boston Butts, and Fresh Local Vegetables

Music and Auction

Proceeds support Altamaha Riverkeeper’s protection work
Call your friends and bring a crowd!
Register for Clam Jam at http://www.altamahariverkeeper.org/events/clamJam2012.asp

See our new video, “A Rivers Story: Reclaiming the Altamaha”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGk34atUpb8&feature=youtu.be

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http://www.outdoorafro.com/2012/09/share-your-summer-water-fun-for-a-chance-to-win-a-pair-of-keen-shoes/

Share Your Summer Water Fun for a Chance to Win a Pair of KEEN Shoes!

Did you have a blast on a waterway this summer and have a cool video to share about it? Want a chance to win a pair of KEEN shoes?

If you answered yes to both questions then this contest is for YOU!

The Georgia River Network and Outdoor Afro have teamed up to help share how people are enjoying their waterways all over the country – like these Outdoor Afros on California’s American River below!

All you have to do is submit your original, short (no more than 3 minute) video that shares what you enjoyed and valued about your local rivers and waterways over the summer!

Contest submissions will be posted on the Georgia River Network and Outdoor Afro social media pages, and five (5) finalists will be selected by Georgia River Network and Outdoor Afro fans, but ONE selected winner will get a  pair of KEEN shoes!

Here is how to enter:

  • Submit your video link below in the comments section, OR upload to the Outdoor Afro facebook page

We will announce the winner November 1st!

Good Luck!

This blog series is sponsored by the Georgia River Network

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Please join us to celebrate our coast with an alfresco dinner of fresh shrimp, oysters, and clams and music by Courson Saunds and Nick Bryant.

Photo by James Holland
Selection of amazing items in our Clam Jam auction with more to come.  See details and sign up for Clam Jam at

http://www.altamahariverkeeper.org/events/clamJam2012.asp

• A 3 day, 2 night stay at circa 1895 two story Italianate Victorian house in the National Historic district of Fernandina. This beautiful 4 bedrooms and 3 full bath house is within easy walking distance of Fernandina Beach village, restaurants, shops, marina and entertainment. Donated by Chris Nelson

• Guided historic canoe trip, lunch, and refreshments for 6 of some of the most pristine parts of the Oconee River. The approximate 10 mile tour is guided by ARK board member, DuBose Porter and narrated by local historian, Scott Thompson. Donated by DuBose Porter.

• A day of exploration and lunch for 8 on St Catherine’s – an undeveloped barrier island preserved for scientific, archeological, and conservation research.

• Privately catered dinner by Chef Mary Schowe for 4-8 at the home of the winner

• Private reading for the winner and friends by Janisse Ray of her newly released book, The Seed Underground; A Growing Revolution to Save Food.

• Case of fine wine from True Vine Wine and Gourmet in Brunswick

• Shorebirds sculpture created and donated by famous ironsmith, Ivan Bailey

• Hand Made Pottery created and donated by Susie Bealer Duncan

• A private island adventure and 2 night stay on Little St Simons, 10,000 acres of maritime forests and marshlands and seven miles of shell-strewn beaches. Accessible only by boat, this extraordinary natural sanctuary is among the last of its kind.

• Primitive bench handmade from vintage doors donated by Sheila and John Parker

• Kayak tour on Cathead Creek for two donated by SE Adventures

• “Wood Peckers” beautifully framed and matted limited editions print by Jacksonville, Florida native, C. Ford Riley. Donated by Sheryl Schooley

• Books donated from UGA Press

• Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia by John Jenson, et al.

• The Southern Frontier, by Philip Juras

• Peachtree Creek, by David Kaufman

• Invasive Pythons, by Dorcas and Willson

• Favorite Wildflower Walks in Georgia, by Hugh and Carol Nourse

• Hey, Bug Doctor, by Jim Howell

• Drifting into Darien,  by Janisse Ray

• The World of the Salt Marsh, by Charles Seabrook

• Kayak adventure tour of the Altamaha River guided by Danny Grissett with Altamaha Coastal Tours and Riverkeeper, Robby Arrington. Donated by Altamaha Coastal Tours

• Gift certificate to  Open Gates Bed and Breakfast located in the historic Darien waterfront

• “Wild Horses on Cumberland” a beautifully framed and signed black and white photograph by Jeffery Williams of Williams Gallery in Savannah.

 See details and sign up for Clam Jam at

http://www.altamahariverkeeper.org/events/clamJam2012.asp

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Daniela Di Iorio, husband Donald Newman and sons Evan and Marco of Athens, shown here on the Coosawattee River, will explore the Altamaha with hundreds of others on this year's week-long Paddle Georgia kayak and canoe trip.

By Lee Shearer

Daniela Di Iorio, husband Donald Newman and sons Evan and Marco of Athens, shown here on the Coosawattee River, will explore the Altamaha with hundreds of others on this year’s week-long Paddle Georgia kayak and canoe trip.

published Saturday, June 9, 2012

Some people call the Altamaha River “Georgia’s little Amazon,” but not Dorinda Dallmeyer.

“I turn that phrase on its head and say ‘No, the Amazon is Brazil’s Altamaha,’” said Dallmeyer, director of the environmental ethics program at the University of Georgia. “People need to appreciate that the river is unique, that it is a national treasure.”

The big Altamaha is the longest free-flowing river system remaining in the eastern United States. Named one of the 75 “Last Great Places on Earth” by the Nature Conservancy, the Altamaha is home to a profusion of wildlife — hundreds of kinds of rare plants and animals, including some that grow nowhere else on Earth.

About 350 people, including several Athenians, will get a firsthand look at the ibises, alligators and other creatures that call the Altamaha home on the upcoming eighth annual Paddle Georgia, a project of the Georgia River Network. Paddle Georgia is a week-long caravan of kayaks and canoes that this year will travel down 105 miles of the Altamaha, from Reidsville to Darien. This year’s trek begins Saturday and continues through June 22.

“It’s a great family vacation and a great way to stay cool in the hot summer,” said Daniela Di Iorio, who will make the trip with husband Donald Newman and sons Evan, 14, and Marco, 12. Di Iorio and her family have become regulars on Paddle Georgia, which chooses a different Georgia river each year.

But Di Iorio has a special interest in this year’s river trip. An oceanographer, she’s part of a University of Georgia-based research team conducting long-term research on the Georgia coast where the Altamaha pours into the ocean, nourishing salt marshes and fisheries.

Like many who know the Altamaha, Di Iorio is worried for the river’s future. Big and wild as it is, the Altamaha is dying by degrees, say some of the people who know it best. It’s being killed, they say, by a constant and growing barrage of large and small environmental wounds, many inflicted by folks far upstream, including Athenians who use water from the Oconee River system that feeds into the Altamaha.

“We can’t continue the way we’re going,” said former Altamaha Riverkeeper James Holland, who’s kept a close eye on the river for decades, first as a crab fisherman, later as the Riverkeeper, and more recently as a photographer documenting the mighty river. The University of Georgia Press this month published a book of his photographs, “The Altamaha: A River and its Keeper,” with essays by Dallmeyer and noted environmental writer Janisse Ray.

Big factories like the ITT Rayonier pulp mill in Wayne County pour wastewater into the river; in Appling County, the Plant Hatch nuclear plant sucks out 60 million gallons a day to generate electricity, and only half goes back in the river.

Upstream, cities like Athens draw millions of gallons out of rivers feeding the Altamaha, returning some of it as treated wastewater which still contains pollutants. Runoff from construction silts the river, along with pesticides from farms.

But those are just some of the wounds we inflict on the river, Holland says.

Large numbers of impoundments, from Jackson County farm ponds to Lake Oconee, hold back the waters that feed the Altamaha, reducing its flow. Add in a record drought year like this one, and the toll on wildlife grows from big to enormous. With less water that is more polluted, fewer fish can survive, and as the fish decline, so do the birds and other creatures that eat the fish.

The Altamaha River’s flow this spring has been lower than ever recorded during the 80 years the U.S. Geological Survey has been collecting data at a gauge in Doctortown, in south Georgia’s Wayne County. As the flow of fresh water ebbs, salt water is pushing farther upstream, Di Iorio said, threatening ancient forests that grow around the river — and even in it, in some places.

Meanwhile, invasive fish species like the flathead catfish are changing the stream’s ecological balance by displacing or even eating other fish species — though some native fish, including shad and sturgeon, may be increasing in number after long declines, said Bert Deener, a DNR regional fisheries supervisor in Waycross.

With all the big river has endured, it still teems with life, Deener said.

“This time of year there’s nothing like going on the Altamaha and getting a shady area and fishing for river bass,” he said. “There’s something special about it.”

 

http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2012-06-09/paddle-georgia-explore-altamaha-river

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Water sport fans heading to river for weeklong trip

Updated: 6/6/2012 10:50 AM By CHRIS WALSH – Staff writer 11

Paddle Georgia 2012 is a week-long 105-mile kayak/canoe trip. This year’s event will be taking place on Georgia’s “Little Amazon” from Baxley to Darien and will be the first to end near the coast. Cofer has been on the trip nearly since the beginning, not long after the retired surgeon took up kayaking as a hobby. “I was settling in one of my children in Gainesville and, after getting done, we rented canoes to go down the river, and we enjoyed it so much we went rafting the next day, too,” Cofer recalled. “After, I’m driving home and thinking, you know, I can do this paddle stuff.” Paddle Georgia is a project of the Georgia River Network, fashioned after the annual bicycle ride across Georgia.

The trip is not just an annual fundraiser; it’s an educational adventure that takes people from all over through Georgia’s Coastal Plain beauty. For Tom, it’s also a chance to reconnect with his family. His daughter has joined him the last two years, and his niece is coming up from Savannah to join him this year. “It’s a great deal, and it’s so much fun,” Cofer said. “It’s an idea the Georgia River Keepers came up with because they’re concerned with the use of water. It’s really fun and educational.” In meeting with Tom at his former office turned home, we glanced over the map and started to plot out my itinerary. There are a slew of rivers in the Peach State and Cofer and GRN have tackled many of them. I’ve been on the Chattahoochee a couple times. According to the event’s release, “In the event’s first seven years, organizers have guided more than 2,100 paddlers down more than 700 miles of Georgia rivers, including trips on the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee, Oostanaula, Broad, Savannah and Oconee rivers.

The trips have generated more than $120,000 for river protection in Georgia.” Along with hitting the water, the trip includes educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment and even a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data to give a snapshot of the current health of the rivers. Regretfully, we won’t be camping on the river banks. I won’t be eating MRE’s for a week either. Each night, the 300 or so paddling enthusiasts set up shop at a local high school, usually on the abandoned football field. The local townsfolk are always more than happy to help too, Tom said. They’ve catered dinners, provided buses to and from the river and even held celebrations at the journey’s final stop. Once, when the trip ended in Dublin, the locals put on a small Redneck Games – a tradition in the mid-Georgia town.

Tom has provided me with the equipment needed for the trip – helmet, life vest, kayak and paddle. I’ve done my share of water sports, but don’t think I haven’t done a couple sets of rows at the gym lately either. While Tom and most of the group will be making the entire trip, I regretfully will only be joining for a couple of days. But that won’t stop me from having fun and learning, like Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down on the River.”

LINKS: www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia

Paddle Georgia on Facebook Read more: Water sport fans heading to river for weeklong trip

Aiken Standard Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0603-WalshPaddleTrip–4038069

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“Altamaha: A River and Its Keeper” is now available from the University of Georgia Press, just in time for Paddle Georgia! ARK will have it for sale at the River’s End celebration in Darien. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the book go to support ARK.ImageImage

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