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Have you ever taken a cute, fun, or endearing photo of you and your sweetie on a river or lake in Georgia? If  so, we’d love to showcase your special moment on our website and social media…

Submit a photo for GRN’s February’s Photo Showcase and Staff Pick!

One photImageo 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.

February’s theme:  “The Love Boat Paddlers photo”

Email your submission to gwyneth@garivers.org

For more details CLICK HERE!

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Allison Hughes 12 Rivers in 2012

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Another piece of Columbus’ whitewater course was set in place Thursday as construction crews with a crane installed a steel “wave-shaper” device on the Chattahoochee River’s Georgia side.

“It’s the first of two pieces that will complete the installation of the steel pieces of the wave-shaper,” Uptown Columbus President Richard Bishop said as he watched the work from the riverside deck of the old Eagle & Phenix Mill powerhouse.

The 34-foot-long piece of heavy duty steel weighed nearly 17,000 pounds, and was manufactured by S.L. Green of Smiths Station, Ala., he said.

“Its twin is fatter,” Bishop said.

“It weighs 23,000 pounds.”

Set in a concrete box below what remains of the breached Eagle & Phenix Dam, the steel pieces will be adjusted to the river’s flow as that section of dam is gradually removed, he said. That way workers can “tune” the whitewater rapid to fit the river’s flow.

“Once we get it tuned, we’ll lock it in that area and leave it,” he said. “As part of the tuning, we will breach the dam at certain levels to simulate the different flows, and we’ll tune it to where we think it’s the best for the flow,” Bishop said.

The demolition of that section of the Eagle & Phenix Dam likely will start in January, as will the breaching of the City Mills Dam upstream, he said. The entire 2.5-mile whitewater course is expected to be finished next summer, he said.

Next to the wave-shaper, workers also were mortaring river rocks together Thursday to hold them in place when the water’s released

Below the wave-shaper, an incline slopes up to concrete pads that will be underwater when the current comes through, Bishop said.

Whitewater enthusiasts rate rapids by Class I through VI, with the higher number marking the most difficult and dangerous. Bishop said the river’s flow and the tuning of the wave-shaper will determine what class rapid is there.

“Once we breach this dam and breach City Mills, our outfitters will be able to get in and tell us what class rapid we’ve got,” he said.

By TIM CHITWOOD

Device will ‘tune’ the whitewater rapid

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/11/08/2269454/crews-install-first-steel-piece.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

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Well Folks… it’s that time of year again…

Fall Tallulah Releases!

PO Box 248, Tallulah Gorge, GA (edit map)

Messages from those who know:

Hello folks,

In the past many of you have helped with these releases and had a great time. Even though Atlanta Area Paddlers is not an official sponsor on any given day, we have been asked to help fill some volunteer spots during these three releases.  If you volunteer, sign up here BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE A SPOT UNTIL YOU CONTACT THE PEOPLE LISTED BELOW.  THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT RELEASE WEEKENDS, THREE DIFFERENT COORDINATORS!!

Thanks,

John Miller,

****************************

Before I go any further I would like to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors……these releases would not be possible with you!

There are 3 weekends of releases in November:

The first weekend Nov 3rd and 4th is being sponsored by Team River Runner and I will be coordinating the volunteers (dillon3938@yahoo.com).

The second weekend Nov 10th and 11th will be sponsored by the AWC and Amanda McDaniel will be coordinating the volunteers (amcdaniel1116@gmail.com).

The third weekend, Nov 17th and 18th will be sponsored by the GCA with Kate Wilkerson coordinating (odiek8@juno.com).

There are 4 volunteer posts/jobs.

Three people man the Registration Desk at the top of the stairs where:

*you collect the Waivers and make sure they have filled it out properly (ICE numbers and allergy sections filled in…..Alex Supertramp is not a paddler and neither is Donald Duck though both have turned in waiver forms in the past!!), *you stop the general public from going down the steps,*you control the flow of boats and paddlers down the steps to avoid overcrowding at the put in and remind the boaters to go from landing to landing so they don’t have to stop on the stairs and hold their boats.

Two people are at the Bridge:

*to stop the general public coming across and onto the stairs.(Only boaters, Rangers and volunteers are allowed on the stairs during the release)*coordinate with the registration desk and put in to regulate the flow of paddlers on the stairs and at the put in.
*communicate with all parties in the event of an emergency.

Two People at the Put In:

*keep the deck as organized as possible (have paddlers stack boats and move down to the end of the platform if they are not putting in)*coordinate with the bridge and registration desk to regulate the flow of paddlers.
*keep in touch with everyone via radio if we have an emergency and request assistance if needed.

We had record numbers over the last release weekend in April with 370 runs on the Saturday and 340 on the Sunday.
With this increase in the numbers the volunteer’s job has become even more important, to keep the day flowing smoothly. There is only a five hour window in which to get all of these boaters down to and on the water. The first boater can pass the registration desk as soon as we get the word from the Rangers that the water has stablized, which is usually between 9.30am and 10am, the last boater passes the registration desk at 3pm. As you can imagine it gets pretty busy!!

One or two people at theTake Out:

*to check for parking passes
*to ask boaters to leave as many cars as possible at the put in as the Take Out parking gets over crowded.

You don’t need to know anything about paddling to work the Registration Desk and the Bridge but would need to be familiar with whitewater paddling to work the Put In.

Comfortable shoes are a must (there are 400 steps down to the bridge and 600 steps (total) down to the put in)Layers of clothes (if the sun is up it can be quite warm in the gorge but as soon as the sun goes in the temp drops pretty quickly)A bottle of water and a snack bar or two (it can be hungry work standing around for 4 hours!)

We will hold an orientation meeting at the beginning of each shift so the volunteers get a chance to meet each other and be briefed on the duties of each of the positions.
This meeting takes place promptly at 8am (for the morning 8-12 shift) and 11am (for the afternoon 11-3.30 shift) in the Ranger workshop on the left side of the boaters parking lot just off 441 between Tallulah Falls town and the highway bridge over the river…….about 12 miles south of Clayton. If you are going north on 441 it will be on your left just before you cross the bridge (the visitor center is on the other side of the bridge). Pull into the car park and tell the steward that you are one of the volunteers and he will point you in the direction of the workshop.
http://gastateparks.org/info/Tallulah/#directions Tallulah State Park

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jUb9fqvbh0 Cool video of a Tallulah run! The first rapid on the video is the one you can see from the put in.

http://gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge camping at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Or check Trailheadfinder.com for more local campgrounds.

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/506/ American Whitewater’s river details.

Thank you again and let me know if you have any questions.
Laura Dillon

Six78-662-0685
dillon3938@yahoo.com

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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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