Concerns & Issues
Concerns and Issues in the Etowah
Water issues in the Upper Etowah watershed are complex and varied. There are a number of great organizations working hard on different aspects of water quality. Here a few of those issues and a link to organizations working on them. Please visit their websites and learn more about all the work toward cleaner water happening in the Etowah. Educated citizens are the greatest asset to environmental protection!
Etowah Habitat Conservation Plan
The cities and counties of the Etowah Basin are working hard to protect imperiled aquatic species in the basin through a provision of the Endangered Species Act that allows them to write a Habitat Conservation Plan. The local governments have formed a steering committee made up of representatives from each jurisdiction in the Etowah Watershed. This group, with help from scientists, policy analysts and educators from the University of Georgia, GA DNR, Kennesaw State, and the Nature Conservancy, among other groups and resource management agencies, is working to create a plan for the watershed which protects the habitat the endangered darters live in. Rather than trying to stop growth in the area, this group seeks to structure it in an environmentally responsible way. They are meeting regularly with local government officials, area developers and other citizen groups to create a plan that works for all concerned.
The Army Corps of Engineers and a group of city, county and water development officials are meeting regularly to create a plan to holistically assess the health of the watershed. The six-year plan includes a comprehensive monitoring and protection plan that will help local officials make decisions about water resources.
Scenic River Effort
A group has been formed in Dawson County and are working to try to get portions of the Etowah and Amicalola Rivers set aside as Georgia Scenic Rivers. This designation would give these areas more protection from development as well as give some permanent places for recreation already enjoyed by hundreds of fishermen, hikers, horseback riders and canoers. For more information about this worthy effort, please visit www.etowahscenicriver.org.