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Riverkeepers start mercury initiative
Keynote Speaker Rep. Dubose Porter, D-Dublin, stands with volunteer award recipients, from left Diana Hensley, Nathan Hensley, John Lewis, and Melanie Hendrix. - photo by Photo provided.
MIDVILLE — Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper recently held its Ogeechee Basin Celebration and Annual Membership meeting at Coleman Lake Restaurant near Midville, GA. Over 100 people turned out to enjoy the afternoon and fish fry from the historic restaurant.
Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper announced its new initiative to prevent mercury pollution of the river. “This is south Georgia. We should be able to eat fish and crabs from our local rivers without worrying about our health or the health of our children,” said Chandra Brown, Riverkeeper/Executive Director. “That’s our way of life around here.”
Keynote speaker Representative Dubose Porter, House Minority Leader, criticized plans by Atlanta-area Electrical Membership Cooperatives to build a new coal-fired power plant near Sandersville. The proposed power plant would emit an additional 122 pounds of mercury per year. The waters of the Ogeechee and Canoochee Rivers already receive two times more mercury from air pollution than allowable limits, according to the US EPA.
“We’re going to have to have the political will to stand up and say that we’re going to have clean energy in Georgia,” said Rep Porter, “and we’re going to reverse the trend to get the mercury out of our air and water. Georgians should be able to eat the fish they catch in our rivers and streams.”
Volunteer awards were given to John Lewis of Louisville, Melanie Hendrix of Claxton, and Nathan and Diana Hensley of Statesboro. Jim Abbot was elected by the membership present at the meeting to serve a two year term as an at-large board member.
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