The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will partner with Georgia River Network for Paddle Georgia 2009, billed as the largest, weeklong group canoe and kayak adventure in the country. This summer’s trip will take place on the Coosawattee and Oostanaula rivers of Northwest Georgia.
DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division and Environmental Protection Division will provide educational programs for the 300-plus participants expected to paddle 92 miles from Ellijay to Rome in the annual canoe and kayak trip set for June 20-26.
During the trip, DNR biologists and scientists will show off terrestrial animals found along the banks of the river, introduce paddlers to some of the creatures that live in the rivers and teach paddlers how to test the rivers for water quality through Adopt-A-Stream — the state’s citizen water monitoring program.
All of this will take place on what is considered North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.
"The Coosa system is home to 30 endemic aquatic species," said Brett Albanese, a DNR biologist participating in the program. "These are species of fish, mussels, snails and crayfish that are not found anywhere else in the world except in this part of Georgia. It’s a real biological treasure trove."