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Letter to editor: Satilla Riverkeeper

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“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” - Heraclitus


This quote rings true for me right now as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We have been able to adapt our work to protect our staff, volunteers, and our members while we continue to protect our Satilla River.


Satilla Riverkeeper has had to postpone and cancel our spring events, and we are working to offer additional virtual opportunities to connect this year. Earlier this month, we would have celebrated the bounty of the Satilla River watershed at the annual “King of the River” Satilla River Fishing Tournament. However, we hope that many of you are still able to get out and enjoy the river responsibly during this beautiful spring and summer. If all goes well, we are looking forward to a busy September. In terms of group gatherings, we will continue to follow public health guidelines and we will make changes as necessary.


In the work of the Riverkeeper organization, things are constantly changing. In a way, that is what we do -- we respond to change and we affect change. During this pandemic, we are still moving forward, addressing threats to our watershed. We are working through EPD’s Triennial Review process to ensure water quality standards are accurate and protective of the Satilla River and tributaries. We are continuing to watch and comment on the proposed mining project near the Okefenokee Swamp. We anticipate that the Georgia General Assembly will resume the legislative session sometime soon, and we are hopeful that a bill to protect the Satilla River from landfills (SB 384) and several bills to protect our waters from coal ash toxins will pass into law. Check our Facebook page and website for real-time updates and action alerts on all of these initiatives.


We continue to monitor water quality at public access points along the Satilla River this summer, and bacteria (E. coli) levels will be posted in real-time to SwimGuide.org. We are grateful for our network of volunteers and staff that help maintain a long-term water quality dataset on the Satilla. In addition to letting us know whether it is safe to swim, this water quality data supports our work to prevent pollution in the future. We are looking forward to having some volunteer training opportunities this summer. Let us know if you would like to join the team!


We know the river is constantly changing. It never is, in fact, the same river twice. And we, as individuals and as a society, are constantly evolving. Right now, we are going through a drastically obvious change, and we will not be the same afterwards, but we will make it through this. One thing we know will remain constant is our need for clean water and a clean environment. The foundation of a healthy community will always be a clean environment.


Satilla Riverkeeper is a grassroots organization and our ability to protect our Satilla depends on each and everyone of us that cares about the river.



Your Satilla Riverkeeper, Laura Early

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