Contact: Nancy Poe, Chief of Resource Education, 678-538-1241
It was only one month ago that the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area publicly announced the ending of a vital program, BacteriALERT. Over the past three years, the program has been on the decline due to lack of funding. What once was a daily water sampling of the river has moved to three times a week and soon was going to end all together.
Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation working to protect land and waterways for human enjoyment and well-being. The Chattahoochee River Land Protection Campaign was started in the mid 1990's. The goal of the campaign is to protect central Georgia's drinking water and provide recreational opportunities by creating a 180-mile greenway along the banks of the Chattahoochee- a greenway that would stretch from Helen to Lake Lanier to Columbus, Georgia.
The BacteriALERT program, a partnership program with United States Geological Survey (USGS), Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), is designed to provide information to the public on river quality. The yellow signs placed in the park are flipped open and websites updated when the levels of bacteria are high. Potential river users may then use this information to make informed decisions as to the location or what type of recreation they or their families wish to partake. The fisherman, boaters, and paddlers especially, have expressed significant interest and appreciation with the program. "Informed decisions assist visitors in having a safe visit to Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, stated Superintendent Kevin Cheri. Without additional financial support, this very important program will no longer be available to serve park visitors."
For more information or to show your support on the BacteriALERT program, please contact the park at 678-538-1200.
Last updated: April 14, 2015