Savannah River makeover could be on the way

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News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Monday, July 7, 2014


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- While the rowing club practices their stroke, broken glass lines the shore down stream on the river.

The city says the stretch of river near Bobby Jones Expressway has been an illegal dump site and will take thousands to clean up the old car parts junkyard.

"It's actually pretty bad off. It's actually got a lot of debris and stuff in the ground," said Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.

She wants Augusta to apply for a $200,000 state grant to help pay to clean up of this 14-acre stretch of land.

Every time it rains all of the old car parts get closer and closer to the river. It's one of the many reasons the Savannah River keeper says the city needs the grant.

The area has been plagued with debris since the 1980's. In five years, officials are planning a huge makeover. They plan to build beaches, a disc golf course and a River Education Center which would have class room space and a 6,000 gallon aquarium.

"It's a good idea because a lot of people end up going on this river not only the rowing club. They're a lot of people that wake board down there," said Rowing Club Member Madeline Scannon.

The project is expected to cost millions, but the River-keeper believes federal and state grants will take the burden off the city. She says if the commission doesn't get serious, it will continue to look the same or get worse.

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