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Altamaha Riverkeeper, James Holland listed among the 100 most influential Georgians

POSTED: February 5, 2008 5:02 a.m.
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James Holland

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In the just released 2008 edition of Georgia Trend magazine, James Holland the Altamaha Riverkeeper (ARK), is listed as one of 100 Most Influencial Georgians. However when you look at the photographs of the most influencial people in Georgia, James is the only one in the entire magazine who is not smiling, in fact James looks downright mad.
Shouldn't he be happy? This is the second year in a row James has made the list. His influence comes from a growing base of supporters for the Altamaha Riverkeeper, an organization working to protect the largest watershed in Georgia.
As Altamaha Riverkeeper, Holland investigates water quality problems throughout the 14,000 square mile watershed. A dedicated defender of Georgia's rivers, he works tirelessly - making site visits, conducting water tests, taking thousands of photos documenting pollution, and communicating with regulatory agencies to improve water quality.  
ARK is generating awareness on the effect that increasing water pollution has on the watershed, a multi-million dollar seafood industry, and one of Georgia's treasures, the largest salt marsh on the East Coast.  Holland represents thousands of residents who depend on the watershed for recreation, food, and drinking water. He says his inclusion on this list of powerful people is thanks to a large coalition of citizens who are getting loud in demanding a healthy watershed, an adequate water supply, and protection for our natural resources.  
That's why he's mad. He says the Environmental Protection Division, the agency that implements and enforces state and federal laws designed to protect,conserve, and restore Georgia's envionmnetal resources, is not doing their job. He also says the Corp of Engineers is not successful at protecting the waters of the state.
Holland says. " We are in the middle of a state water crisis and yet our wetlands, swamps, and marshes are being destroyed daily. These natural resources are important to healthy water. If we destroy our natural resources, do you think people will want to come to Georgia?  Our economic and  environmental well being are one and the same. The agencies must do a better job of enforcing regulations to protect what is most important."
Holland requests citizens to take part in protecting our natural resouces by being observant and to please report pollution to regulatory agencies and demand action.  He also asks citizens to communicate with their state legislators on important environmental issues and the state water plan in the upcoming Georgia State Legislative session.  
To read more about James Holland go to the Georgia Trend article at
http://www.georgiatrend.com/cover-story/01_08_100_most_influencial_main.shtml
and scroll down to the eighth person on the list.
The Altamaha Riverkeeper and its Coastkeeper program are working to protect and restore the habitat, water quality, and flow of the mighty Altamaha from its headwaters in the Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Ohoopee Rivers to its terminus at the Atlantic Coast. To learn more about the Altamaha Riverkeeper and to support their efforts go to www.altamahariverkeeper.org.

 

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