Chattahoochee gets designation as 'Great Water' today

The America’s Great Waters Coalition is adding the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin to its list of Great Waters today in a ceremony on the banks of the river downtown.

The coalition advocates for restoration and protection of America’s waterways they contend are critical to local economies and way of life for communities nationwide. It is also adding the St. Johns River in Florida to its list.

“Right now we are seeing a congressional onslaught on the Clean Water Act that is regional in nature, but has implications for the rest of the country,” said Doug Siglin, co-chair for the America’s Great Waters Coalition and federal affairs director at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “By working together, we demonstrate how an attack on one Great Water is an attack on all. Legislation aimed at degrading the Chesapeake Bay can be used in the future to harm other waterways, such as the St. Johns River and ACF River Basin.”

The ACF river system spans over 19,600 square miles and flows from the Blue Ridge Mountains, through Atlanta, and south through rural Georgia, Alabama and Florida before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

“While the Great Waters vary in geographic location and physical characteristics, they are plagued by similar problems such as pollution, altered water flows, habitat loss and destruction, invasive species, climate change, and more,” said Adam Kolton, co-chair for the America’s Great Waters Coalition and senior director of congressional and federal affairs at the National Wildlife Federation. “Federal support for restoration work is essential for protecting these important waterways.”