By guest blogger Truck Carlson, VCW Program Coordinator
Having launched the Veterans for Clean Water program officially just 5 months ago, we have certainly come a long way. Our Veteran Volunteers collected well over 300 water samples throughout the watershed, testing for bacteria levels. We created and maintained data on the Swim Guide app and website on a weekly basis, which allowed the public to access information about the water quality at their favorite swimming and boating spots in the watershed. We worked directly with Ironman staff to ensure the water quality was safe for swimmers for the event. On regular cleanups and outings, we collected more than 300 tires and many hundreds of pounds of trash. While ending our water sampling portion of the program in late September, we are now moving on to restoration.
There are two major projects that SRK's Veteran Volunteers are spearheading. One is the restoration of Butler Creek in South Augusta. The goal is to remove the debris along the creek from Deans Bridge Road all the way to the outflow into the Savannah at Lock and Dam. The end result will be to return Butler Creek to a usable recreational waterway. This will be a daunting project and will require a great amount of effort from the volunteers as well as collaborating with the City of Augusta.
The second project we are taking on is the deployment of three trash-catch systems at critical points in the watershed, thanks to WaterGoat. We expect to receive them in early November and deploy them shortly after. Once deployed, our Veteran Volunteers will maintain them and remove trash on a weekly basis, or as needed after a rain event.
On November 14, SRK is hosting a dinner cruise aboard the Patriot Riverboat highlighting our program. This will be a fundraising event focused on the growing work that Veterans For Clean Water is involved in. We would like anyone who is interested in supporting this program, or even those who want to learn more about getting involved, to join us. For more information, please see the event on Facebook and RSVP to attend.
I am truly thankful for everyone who has supported this program from its inception and
continue to support the program as we move forward. This program is proving to have a huge, positive impact for OUR river, OUR community, and OUR Veteran Volunteers!
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