WWALS gets grant from river network –VDT

Statewide organization recognizes WWALS Watershed Coalition, plus local direct and indirect economic benefits of an Alapaha Water Trail, wrote the reporter who called me yesterday about the WWALS PR. -jsq

Matthew Woody wrote for the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday, WWALS gets grant from river network,

The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network. John Quarterman, president of WWALS, said that making a water trail on the Alapaha River involves mapping out the river and putting out guide posts. The maps will show where boat ramps are along the river.

This grant goes beyond maps and guide posts; it signifies that a statewide organization recognizes South Georgia rivers.

“The grant for the Alapaha Water Trail is useful. It will cover printing costs for maps and brochures and possibly some meeting costs. But the recognition from a statewide group Georgia River Network is important because it shows they’re interested in our river,” Quarterman said. “It’s a seed of recognition that will attract more grants in the future.”

It also has a positive direct and an indirect impact on the county.

“This directly benefits Lowndes County because recreation on water, such as fishing and boating costs, very little for the county and it attracts people to our community who will eat at our restaurants and stay in our hotels,” Quarterman said. “It will also indirectly help the Development Authority and the community because it will show large businesses that Lowndes County invests in the quality of life of its residents and ultimately make the county more attractive.”

Every year an event called Paddle Georgia attracts hundreds of people to come and paddle down a Georgia river. “Now there is no guarantee that Paddle Georgia will ever be here, but having the Alapaha Water Trail will make it more attractive,” Quaterman said.

Brown’s Guide to Georgia describes the Alapaha as

“jungle-like in its remoteness and luxurious with exotic vegetation, the dark reddish-brown waters of the Alapaha wind through a swampy wonderland teeming with wildlife.”

The Georgia River Network works statewide to keep rivers clean. They engage and empower Georgians to protect, restore and enjoy the many rivers that Georgia has to offer.

The WWALS is an advocacy organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.

For more information on this grant or the Alapaha Water Trail, call Chris Graham at (229) 588-1392, or John S. Quarterman at (229) 242-0102, or email them at wwalswatershed@gmail.com.

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