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Adopt-a-wetland workshop in RH
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The Richmond Hill Garden Club is once again scheduling a Coastal Georgia Adopt-a-Wetland Workshop in partnership with the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service.
A workshop to become certified in chemical and visual monitoring will at 9 a.m. July 17 at the Richmond Hill Historical Society Museum at Hwy. 144 and Timber Trail. The program lasts about two hours. This class is also intended for those that need to do the yearly recertification.
This program is the marine counterpart to Adopt-a-Stream program, which was developed by the Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division for monitoring freshwater habitats.
2010 marks the 20th anniversary of America Wetland Month. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its partners in the federal, state, nonprofit and private sectors celebrate by participating in American Wetlands Month which was in May. This year’s focus was on coastal wetlands.
There are about 40 million acres of wetlands in the lower 48 states, with nearly 81 percent in the coastline of the southeast. Georgia has nearly 100 miles of coastline which comprises one-third of the salt marshes on the East Coast.
The goals of the Adopt-a-Wetlands program are to increase public awareness of the State’s non-point pollution and water quality issues and to provide citizens with the tools and training to evaluate and protect their local waterways.
Water quality has become an issue along the coast. Non-point pollution, pollution that is not from a single source but drains into our waterways from many locations, is becoming a serious problem in Coastal Georgia.
The AAW program seeks volunteers to test wetlands in their neighborhood or community. Wetlands are any salt marsh, tidal creek, river, beach or swamp of which Bryan, Liberty and McIntosh counties have in abundance. Wetlands are valuable coastal resources, playing an important role in water quality, sediment retention, flood control and wildlife habitat.
Since the program was first started, 145 workshops have been hosted, training almost 1,400 individuals. Workshop participants have “adopted” a total of 75 sites coast wide, with 41 groups and 130 volunteers currently submitting data on a regular basis. We currently have four testing sites in South Bryan County and are looking for more volunteers.
Volunteers learn to do water quality testing which they do once a month. This testing takes about an hour of your time. The data can now be recorded by internet via the AAW database. Data that is collected by AAS/AAW volunteers can potentially detect serious pollution problems or can be used by scientists to indicate water quality over time.
Informed citizens can play a key role in encouraging water and land stewardship in all sectors of our society, from industry to private homeowners and from developers to municipal sewages treatment managers.
Wetlands are one of Georgia’s most valuable resources. The Coastal Georgia Adopt-a-Wetland Program and the Richmond Hill Garden Club encourages individuals to attend the workshop and learn the basic tools to test for pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity.
For more information and to sign up for the class, contact garden club chairperson Mary Burns at 727-3219 or e-mail

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