Georgia Watershed Management
Georgia has 44,056 miles of perennial (year-round flow) streams, 23,906 miles of intermittent (flow during rain events and wet seasons) streams and 603 miles of ditches and canals running into 14 major river basins, 4.8 million acres of wetlands, 425,582 acres of lakes and reservoirs, and 854 square miles of estuaries. These riverine systems carve Georgia into many watersheds, the land areas that drain to a single body of water. Georgia’s 14 major river basins are watersheds for their surrounding land area. The basins include the Oconee, Ocmulgee, Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Ogeechee, St. Mary’s, Satilla, Ochlockonee, Suwannee, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Tennessee, and Savannah River Basins. These large basins are further divided into 52 smaller watersheds as described on EPA’s Surf Your Watershed website. The UGA River Basin and Policy Center has good descriptions of Georgia’s major river basins.
Conditions in Your Watershed
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is responsible for monitoring and managing surface water quality. The EPD has developed River Basin Management Plans for each Georgia’s 14 major river basins. The EPD also posts “Water Quality in Georgia” reports, which list impaired stream segments, lakes/reservoirs, and estuaries. In addition to water quality reports, the EPD is responsible for posting Total Maximum Daily Load program information. EPA’s Surf Your Watershed website also contains site-specific information about the watersheds throughout the State of Georgia.
Resources and Programs
The University of Georgia provides research, education, and extension resources to assist state and federal agencies, business and industry, communities, and individual citizens in addressing water quality concerns. These programs are designed to provide information for specific audiences such as farmers, homeowners, and youth.
UGA is home to the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). UGA CES is dedicated to enhancing the lives of Georgians through programs that provide technical support to agriculture and consumers and help Georgians become more healthy, productive, financially independent, and environmentally conscious. This goal is met by ensuring that research and information from colleges and universities world-wide make their way to Georgia’s citizens, by way of local extension agents and other members of the UGA CES.
The Office of Environmental Sciences
The Office of Environmental Sciences was created in 2000 by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to provide coordination for the research, extension and teaching programs addressing environmental issues and opportunities.
Marine Extension NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Program
NEMO is a national educational program for land use decision makers that address the relationship between land use and natural resource protection, with a focus on water resources.
Farm*A*Syst and Home*A*Syst
Georgia Farm*A*Syst and Home*A*Syst are voluntary programs that provide tools to assist farmers and rural residents identify water pollution risks on their property by conducting simple assessments. Home*A*Syst’s major objectives are to help people identify environmental risks, concerns, or problems in and around the home, learn about better home and property management, and to take preventative actions to save guard health and the environment.
Other Resources and Programs
Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management – Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP)
SANREM’s mission is to assist in the creation and successful application of decision support methods, information, institutional innovations, and local sustainable agriculture and natural resource planning, management, and policy analysis at local, municipal, provincial, and national levels.
UGA’s Watershed Group
The Watershed Group, housed at the University of Georgia Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, works in collaboration with state and local governments, and private industry. Their mission is to apply and research progressive methods of watershed scale analysis for community-based watershed planning and management. Projects include conducting Watershed Assessments, Biological and Habitat Assessments, and exploring alternative methods of analysis.
UGA’s River Basin Science and Policy Center
The University of Georgia has a wide array of land and water-related expertise among its faculties. As Georgia's Land Grant University, it also has a mission to use this expertise to help address the problems facing the state, as well as regional, national, and international problems. To mobilize the science and policy expertise at the university to address water resource concerns, we have established the River Basin Science and Policy Center.
Carl Vinson Institute of Government
CVIOG’s Environmental Policy Program conducts policy research on environmental and natural resource issues facing Georgia and provides technical support and training/educational programs for Georgia governmental officials. The Environmental Quality and Management of Natural Systems program assists communities in problem solving and decision-making through the use of ecosystem research, environmental program management, and problem definition and solution (in areas of environmental protection). Finally, CVIOG supports the Geographic Information System Lab for Decision Support, which develops digital databases and effective decision support and training techniques specific to environmental issues within and between communities in Georgia.
The Georgia Center of Urban Agriculture
The Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture works to combine the resources and expertise of Georgia producers and agribusinesses, public and commercial consumer groups, and the University of Georgia to define and address the constraints to economic growth of urban agribusiness, to promote environmental stewardship, and to enhance the development and delivery of science-based urban agriculture information.
- Major Watersheds of Georgia, Kim D. Coder. (Click on Environment)
- Southeast Watershed & Research Laboratory, USDA – UGA Tifton Campus
- Salamanders May Provide Clues for Successful Habitat Management of Watersheds, John Wilson.
- Water Management Planning - Publications & Reports, Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
- Watershed Connections, useful watershed links
- Alcovy River Watershed Protection Project, UGA Institute of Ecology Public Service and Outreach
- Vision for the University of Georgia Watershed, Students and Educators for Ecological Design and Sustainability
College and University Education
University of Georgia