News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, February 25, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The Savannah River is our main resource for drinking water. Research shows that from Augusta's industries to Savannah's ports, it's the fourth toxic river in the nation.
Now a local group needs your help to change that.
Driving along the Savannah River, the view may be scenic, but a closer look at some parts show it's anything but. When you think riverfront, you don't picture an old gas tank or an abandoned truck bed. But those things and more can be found upon the site where Savannah Riverkeeper hopes to build a new park.
The group is now in a national competition to win a grant to clean the mess up, and they need your vote.
Savannah Riverkeeper's Andy Weed says, "This area used to be Gibbs automotive junkyard. They would take cars and shred them."
Sending those pieces everywhere, even into our river.
Savannah Riverkeeper hopes to clean molten metal, car parts, and even a car off the Savannah riverfront.
Weed says, "This was back here in the 70s, so this has been here for 40 years."
On the other side of the river from the site lays a mansion, on developed land that's comparatively pristine.
The debris doesn't keep Larry Brown from fishing there, but if Savannah Riverkeeper gets the grant money, he says, "It'll be a lot cleaner and a lot safer to come down here. Right now, if you fall, ain't no telling what you going to fall on."
So, are you tired of seeing junk on the riverfront? This is where you take part. The stretch is part of 14 acres in the Miller-Coors River Grant Competition to win $30,000 to clean it all up.
Weed says, "If we get this grant, which we hope everyone votes for, then we can come through here with heavy equipment and clean this area out. We plan on making an international professional disc golf and kiosks out here, and, long term, and with partnering with the city and the women's club, we plan on having a children's outdoor center out here."
Now, the Riverkeepers just need your help to reel in a win and help them pick up the pieces of our river.
Savannah Riverkeeper has been working on the area for two years and so far has picked up over 26 tons of trash.
Voting is open from February 22 to March 20th.