It’s that time of year when temperatures are warming up. Pair that with easing isolation requirements and people are starting to get out a whole lot more. While we encourage people to continue to protect themselves and follow distancing guidelines, we understand that being cooped up for so long feels a bit like being a wind-up toy ready to get back on the kayaks, boats, and rope swings.
Is Your Water Safe?
Keeping the public safe and informed while monitoring water quality and safety are important part of what we do, especially through the Veterans for Clean Water program. That means it’s time for us to step up and make sure you’re informed and protected. So, we are ramping up our water sampling programs.
We not only have the Veterans for Clean Water doing testing but we also work with Adopt-A-Stream. Volunteers are trained to collect samples and test water, then we compile their data to help inform the public. Samples from both programs are added to the Swim Guide app.
From Augusta to Savannah, we have dozens of testing sites at popular locations at lakes, along the rivers and streams, and at beaches. Know before you go and check the sites around your planned venture to make sure the water isn’t dangerous.
We upload our data to the Swim Guide app so you can have the latest information right in your pocket. AND Swim Guide has water quality testers all across the nation, so you can stay informed wherever you travel.
Download the Swim Guide guide app:
Click here for Android/Google
Click here for Apple iOS
Our water quality monitoring doesn’t end there. We are working with several partners to collect even more data from many, many more locations. We are building a public access site to host tons of water quality data from all over the state. We can then expand that, giving the public and researchers access to in-depth information.
We are also working with some very cool artificial intelligence to help identify all kinds of things in the water, in real time. Tracking these kinds of data could be very useful in the future to track spills or other contaminants to predict and understand consequences as they travel downstream.
Take It to the Bank! (Fishing Access)
This summer, Savannah Riverkeeper is going to “Take It to the Bank.” Not everyone has access to a boat. That could be because you live in an apartment, are young and early in a career, don’t know how the rules of the water or how to operate one, or maybe you really only get out on the water a couple of times each year. Let’s say you only get out there a couple of times each year, but your cousin is coming to visit and wants to take your kids fishing while in town… like you used to do as kids. Without a boat, you have to Take It to the Bank.
Fishing access is important and should be available for all. We will be working to expand bank fishing access and we will be highlighting bank fishing locations on our social media. We will need your help to make this campaign its most successful. We need to know where you go to bank fish - from the McDuffie County Public Fishing Area to Yonah Lake in Georgia and Oconee State Park to the fishing pier at the C.C. Haigh, Jr. landing at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
We want to know what you’re catching, see your photos, and hear your stories. Send us your favorite spots so we can give them a shot, too. After all, a bad day fishing beats a good day at work… especially when a day of fishing IS work! Kidding, we’ll send Tonya’s husband on the weekends.
We will take those stories and photos and press lawmakers and local governments to expand local waterway access. We will continue to organize volunteer cleanups to ensure those access points are picked up the best we can. Our water resources should not be limited to special access but need to be available for all.
It’s your river, get into it! We can't wait to see you on the water.