the upper altamaha initiative:
uga and acc ownership of the upper altamaha
Pam Brannon, Tina Pagan
The Initiative for Watershed Excellence (IWE) is the recipient of a grant from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the US Environmental Protection Agency with the goal of reducing nonpoint source pollution in the Upper Altamaha watershed. A major objective of the Upper Altamaha Initiative is the development of local stakeholder involvement to promote an ongoing commitment to the health of the watershed. As part of the grant, those funding the IWE seek a long-term commitment from stakeholders to sustainable practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution. The purpose of this project is to develop a strategy to most effectively present the idea of a comprehensive river "adoption" program to the University of Georgia.
Clarke and Oconee counties contain several §303(d) listed streams. The University of Georgia, as a major stakeholder with an extensive footprint in the watershed, is an essential actor and potential leader in any sustained effort to reduce loading of currently listed streams. Further, as a probable nonpoint source polluter in the watershed, the University of Georgia faces potential liability under the Clean Water Act. Moreover, an ongoing commitment to watershed stewardship could unite the current efforts of various University departments into a viable service learning program that enhances the image of the University both locally and nationally.
This project will develop a strategy to effectively and persuasively present a river adoption program to the President of the University of Georgia. The end result of this project will be a report and presentation to the President detailing the benefits of a river adoption program. To effect this goal, this project will:
- gather information about similar programs at other universities throughout the nation, to show that a river ownership program is feasible and will enhance the image of the University,
- gather information about current environmental initiatives on campus, to provide University administration with the information necessary to potentially announce a program of stewardship as a part of a continuing University commitment to sustainable practices,
- determine the impact of the University on §303(d) listed streams in Clarke and Oconee counties and the result of various best management practices that could be undertaken by the University,
- determine what actions would likely be necessary to implement a river adoption program on a University level, and
- interview key members of the University community to determine the administration's receptivity to a program of river adoption and the context in which such a program should be placed to maximize the likelihood of success.