Savannah River Cleanup

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

December 12, 2005
Many people who cruise the Savannah River by boat say it’s impossible to navigate through all of the weeds and logs. And those who stroll the River Walk say the same weeds and logs are eyesores. One group is trying hard to find ways to clean up the river.

It’s a floating problem, either making it difficult for boats to run through it or creating an eyesore along the River Walk.

“And before you know it, it is a big mess,” said Mike Stacy, Marina Operator.

Marina Operator Mike Stacy is talking about nuisance weeds in the Savannah River.

“That’s probably about six feet thick of just this nasty grass,” Stacy said.

Mike gave the city some recommendations to deal with the problem. And now a subcommittee headed by Commissioner Andy Cheek with members of the Department of Natural Resources, the Canal Authority, and the Core of Engineers are looking at ways to fight the problem.

“It stopped my boat dead. It was nearly impossible to get it out,” Cheek said.

“It’s a plant that grows attached to the bottom and was an extensive root system put up long runners tends to make pretty thick mats once it reaches the top,” said Alfred Mauldin, GA Wildlife Resources Division.

Here at the River Walk Marina it is a daily task to keep all of this maintained. They’ll continue to do that until the city comes up with a more permanent solution.

“Finding a local harvester or contractor to do the work or buying one ourselves and actually beginning to clean this stuff,” Cheek said.

For now, Mike uses a drop line and boat to pull large sections of the intertwined weeds down the river for disposal.

“When we clean it out, there will be nothing here, just clean water then little by little patches of grass at a time will start hitting the dock right here and then it will start piling up again,” Stacy said.

In Monday’s brainstorming meeting, committee members discussed using chemicals, a grass eating carp, or harvesting the weeds out mechanically. The committee plans to meet again early next year.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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