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Changes Along the South River

By Margaret Brady

The South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) is an organization that advocates tirelessly for public health and ecological restoration of the historically overlooked and underrated Georgia gem, the South River.

The South River is Atlanta’s “other” river. It flows from west to east beginning near the airport and crossing the southeast part of town at Moreland Avenue, south of Custer near the old Atlanta Prison Farm. It continues east into Rockdale County, flowing into Lake Jackson. SRWA Board President, Jacqueline Echols, PhD, has led the Alliance to noteworthy achievements in watershed awareness, restoration, and protection over the last decade. But as Metro Atlanta grows at a blistering pace, the South River (one of only two urban-origin rivers in our state) grows increasingly vulnerable. Despite underdog status, the watershed is a resilient urban ecosystem, supporting wildlife and communities. The South River can heal itself with collective support from nearby communities. The Alliance is devoted to that ambition and welcomes all to join the effort. 

There are a couple of upcoming events that may interest eco- and water-minded people. On September 14, there is “South River Paddles: RIDE IT TO RESTORE IT.” Taking place on October 5 is the 2019 Jamboree “RALLY FOR THE RIVER.” Celebrate sunset on the riverbank. Enjoy music, supper, and raffle prizes as participants rally for active awareness and protection of the South River.

One of the best things anyone can do for the river is get on it. The South River’s currently designated use is fishing. The group would like to see it in the next class of designation, recreation, which would increase water-quality protections and requirements. A great way to get the designation changed is to increase use. By riding the river, you’ll be helping restore it, too.

For more information about the organization, tickets, event sponsorship, or to donate a raffle prize visit or call 706-254-9526.

Margaret Brady is Executive Director of the South River Watershed Alliance.

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