Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 20

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Advo

DICK BRYANT

Above: The Flint River flows 344 miles from
the region just south of Atlanta to the
southwestern corner of the state.
Left: Gordon Rogers displays a big shoal
bass he caught while fly-fishing on the
Flint River at the Big Lazer Creek Wildlife
Management Area.

By Amber Lanier Nagle

QUINT ROGERS

S

ome remember being
baptized in the cool waters
of the Ohoopee River in
Southeast Georgia. Others reminisce about casting their fishing
lines into Southwest Georgia's Flint
alongside a father or grandfather or falling into North Georgia's Nottely River from a rickety rope swing. In Georgia, our
relationship with the 70,000 miles of rivers and streams winding
through our state is somewhat of a love story.
Not only home to an abundance of trout, catfish, bass
and bream, our rivers showcase lanky herons, bushy-headed
kingfishers, dragonflies, alligators, beavers and a web of wildlife
whose existence depends on the natural flowing waters.
We, too, rely upon the health and vitality of the rivers-
a message Georgia's river advocates emphasize. Here are a few
things they want everyone to know.

We've made great strides, but ...
The Chattahoochee River downstream of metro Atlanta
once resembled a cesspool-a byproduct of ancient, overloaded infrastructure that sometimes discharged sewage into the
city's creeks, which then empty into the river. Today, the
Chattahoochee is one of the state's many river-cleanup success
stories.
"The Chattahoochee and other Georgia waterways

20

Georgia Magazine

October 2019

are much cleaner than a few
decades ago, since the passage of
the Clean Water Act in 1972 and a
major lawsuit brought and settled
by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, but
we still have a lot of work ahead of
us," says Gordon Rogers, a self-described "river nerd" who grew
up near the Satilla River in Southeast Georgia. He's been the
executive director of Flint Riverkeeper Inc. since 2009. "Today,
we have an alarming 'flow' problem, and it isn't all attributed to
drought conditions. It has more to do with intentional water
withdrawal."
He notes that the Flint River, which stretches from the
upper Piedmont region south of Atlanta to the wetlands of the
Gulf Coastal plain in the southwestern corner of the state, has
been dewatered by 50 percent in recent years.
"Even in very wet years, we are experiencing flows similar
to former drought flows across the state," Rogers says.
But restoration efforts are underway. Metro Atlanta and
Georgia's agriculture community have made significant
investments in technologies designed to put water back into the
rivers, and people finally are understanding that their actions
can help keep rivers healthy.
Tips include never pouring grease down drains and using
minimal amounts of pesticides and herbicides per the instructions on the packages.
"And join a local riverkeeper group," he says.



Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover4
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