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Etowah Initiative
Initiative Home
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Fall 2003
Spring 2003
Fall 2002
Spring 2002
Fall 2001
Fall 2004
Cumulative Impacts of Reservoirs
Draft Environmental Assessment and HCP text
Forestry Conservation Partnership
Low Impact Parking Lot, Bartow County
Wetlands Mitigation
Fall 2003
HCP Erosion & Sedimentation
HCP Permit
HCP Scenario Consequence Modeling

Spring 2003

HCP Technical Assistance
Regional TDR Program
Lakeshore Restoration
Watershed Model
Fundraising Plan for UERA
Fall 2002
Better Site Design
Evaluation of Conservation Subdivisions
HCP: Historical, Cultural & Archaeological Resources
HCP: Marketing Environmental Protection
Spring 2002
HCP: Legal Issues
Greenspace Plan, Part II
Projects 2001
Sites - BMPs
Regional Greenspace Plan, Part I
HCP: Bridges & Culverts
Papers &
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the etowah initiative

Mission Statement

To help protect the ecological integrity of the Etowah River Basin by working with stakeholders to reduce the impact of human activities on water quality and biodiversity. The Etowah Initiative is a service learning course that provides a structured and supportive format for students to apply policy, design and ecological principles learned in the classroom to the real world of people and policy.

Philosophy and History

The Etowah Initiative matches graduate students from the University of Georgia with community stakeholders facing specific environmental challenges. Students from law, ecology, environmental design, wildlife ecology, scientific illustration and agricultural engineering may participate in the course. Water quality and the protection and restoration of aquatic species through the best available science, design and policy concepts are key goals for this hands-on program. The course presents a holistic approach to land use planning from the perspectives of our interdisciplinary faculty and guest lecturers.

picture of Etowah stakeholders meetingStudents in earlier Etowah Initiative classes drafted a conservation subdivision ordinance adopted by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, promoted the use of transferable development rights to protect water quality resulting in enabling legislation adopted by the Georgia General Assembly, and developed a system of water withdrawal that protected endangered aquatic species which was adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about these and other Etowah Initiative projects, see the Papers & Reports page.

Practicum Goals

  1. Provide an educational environment where students can apply skills learned in the traditional classroom to pressing community concerns and problems;
  2. Provide an opportunity for students and faculty to work with other disciplines in integrated environmental decision-making and problem-solving thus improving their ability to understand, communicate with, and influence other desicplines;
  3. Increase awareness of the importance of addressing environmental issues proactively within the university community and the broader community;
  4. Respond to community concerns and problems in the Etowah River Basin;
  5. Build capacity for service learning at the University of Georgia.

The Etowah Initiative in the Media

Students work on environmental issues in the Etowah River Basin

Ecology, Law students work with Etowah River communities to balance development with watershed protection


map of Etowah critical habitats

Nov. 6, 2003. The Georgia Water Coalition honors the Etowah Initiative. Dean Rebecca White of the UGA School of Law, Dr. Ron Carroll, co-director of the River Basin Science & Policy Center, and Beth Gavrilles, project coordinator at the Institute of Ecology accept the Georgia Water Coalition's Certificate of Appreciation for Leadership in Protecting Georgia's Water Resources from Jerry McCollum (right) of the Georgia Wildlife Federation

Visit Our Partners:
Center for Community Design and Preservation Center for Community Design & Preservation
Georgia Museum of Natural history Georgia Museum of Natural History

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University of Georgia -  Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology

UGA River Basin Center
203 D.W. Brooks Drive
Athens, GA 30602-5017 USA
Phone: (706) 583-0463
Fax: (706) 583-0612

Seth J. Wenger, Co-Director for Science - swenger@uga.edu
Laurie Fowler, Co-Director for Policy - lfowler@uga.edu

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For questions or comments about this web site email: yearwood@uga.edu

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