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 Come Paddle Through A Proposed Shopping Center in Rome

THIS SATURDAY! Jan. 19, 10:30 AM. Join CRBI as we explore the Burwell Creek floodplain and wetlands that are slated for development into a 60-acre shopping center

Recent heavy rains have forced the Oostanaula River out of its banks, spilling over into adjacent wetlands and floodplain, including the Burwell Creek wetlands adjacent to Riverside Parkway and Ridge Ferry Park in Rome. This 60-acre parcel of city-owned land is slated for development into a shopping center…we think that’s a really bad idea, and we think you’ll agree after you paddle over what could be the future home of a strip mall.

Join us for this educational adventure, learn about wetlands and floodplains and help us protect these sepcial places!

Complimentary boats are available. Those with their own boats are encouraged to bring them. To reserve a boat, please contact Joe Cook at 706-232-2724 or e-mail jcook@coosa.org Participants should meet at the Burwell Creek parking area at Ridge Ferry Park. Click here for more information.

Annual Membership Meeting and 20th Anniversary Celebration Jan. 28 At Rome-Floyd ECO River Education Center

Help CRBI celebrate 20 years of protecting the Coosa at our annual membership meeting Jan. 28, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. at the Rome-Floyd ECO River Education Center. The program will include our 2012 Annual Report, Election of Board Officers, Recognition of Key Volunteers and Supporters and a special program highlighting 20 years of CRBI’s efforts to protect the Coosa. This is a free event with appetizers and drinks, plus all the great fish, turtle and other wildlife exhibits at the ECO Center. Learn more by visiting the CRBI website! 

Georgia General Assembly Is Now In Session! Keep Track Of Important Environmental Legislation by Joining the Georgia Environmental Action Network! It’s Free!

The Georgia Environmental Action Network (GEAN) is a free service that will notify you via e-mail when an important vote on environmental legislation is pending. Then, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can send an e-mail to your legislator to voice your opinion on the legislation. Sign up for GEAN Now! and get ready for the 2013 legislative session! 

Coosa River Basin Initiative 408 Broad St. Rome, GA 30161 706-232-2724 www.coosa.org

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Check out this useful Interactive Map of Water Use by county for the Southeast created by Jon Becker!

http://ow.ly/gpbd0

waterusemapA user can click on a county to activate the interactive graphs in the dashboard. You can then mouse over the slices of the pie chart to see the quantities and percentages of the pie pieces.

A user can also select multiple counties at once with the Select Features tool and the graphs will dynamically adjust.

Scalable watershed boundaries are provided as a reference layer in case someone wants to get a rough approximation of water use by watershed (of course watershed boundaries don’t neatly align with counties).

You can zoom in/out with the wheel on your mouse or mouse over the lower left corner of the map to get zoom tools.

You may have to install Microsoft Silverlight plugin for the map to work, but it is not malware. Jon Becker wrote a description of the map including the USGS source data hyperlink that can be accessed at the Details button.

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Give the Gift of Clean Water by supporting Georgia River Network’s vision of rivers that we can use for drinking, swimming, fishing, and boating; IMG_1168rivers that add beauty and value to our communities, and meet the needs of the ecosystems they support.

Make a difference now!

Thank you for your love of rivers and for your charitable support of them.

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The sport of kayaking is an excellent form of exercise!

The disciplines it develops are strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. A great cardiovascular workout, which can aid in strengthening the heart and increasing blood flow, it also can help keep the body tone and fit while enjoying nature and the great outdoors.

Check out this Kayak calorie burning estimation tool…

http://www.everydayhealth.com/food-fitness/calories-burned-paddling

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KUDOS to Patrick Phelps for finishing the 12 rivers in 2012 challenge!

His paddling adventures were on the following 12 rivers:

IMG_34901. Oconee – March 6
2. Broad – March 15
3. Etowah – April 21, Aug 18
4. Notelly – May 27
5. Chattahoochee – June 9
6. Oostanaula – Aug 11
7. Coosa – Aug 18
8. Conasauga – Sept 2
9. Chestatee – Sept 8
10. Yellow – Sept 15
11. Soque – Sept 29
12. Ocmulgee – Nov 4

Read all the paddlers’ 12 in 12 stories and get inspired, get excited, and go paddling!

As y’all know we have been highlighting 12 in 2012 paddling adventures in our newsletters, Facebook, and Twitter, so make sure to check ‘em out.
And if lo and behold you have not signed up for our newsletters you can do so by clicking HERE!
Make sure to also peruse our Water Trails Website when searching and planning for your next paddling adventure. It’s a great a place to find out about water trails, paddling events and trips, and outfitters and amenities throughout the State.

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Once again we come to you to thank you for your support.  No note we send can convey the affect your gift will make on the State of GDirtyDozenLogo 2eorgia. This past year, Georgia River Network continued to provide the Georgia Water Wire blog which exposes readers to topics and the choices we all make regarding water, economics and politics – for better or worse- all over the state and region.  The blog is an excellent resource for our partners to stay on-top of what’s happening and for citizens at the grassroots to learn new things.

With our partners in the Georgia Water Coalition, we released the second annual Dirty Dozen report last week which highlights Georgia’s most threatened water resources and the most egregious water pollution problems.  By garnering significant statewide press coverage of the Dirty Dozen, we aim to educate the public about ongoing threats to our waterways and engage the public in finding a resolution.

Together, we are having a positive impact on the future of Georgia’s rivers, and we cannot thank you enough.

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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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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