Conservation and Stewardship

Water trails create an incentive to protect water quality for recreational uses and to protect the economic opportunities of increased tourism. Local pride in the river helps build support for river conservation. Conservation opportunities include but are not limited to:
River clean-ups are an excellent way to introduce citizens to their natural environments. Organizing a half-day cleanup is relatively easy, and it can greatly improve the healthfulness and aesthetic value of water bodies in a community. Conduct trash cleanup events along water trails and water trail access points. Volunteers can organize a river clean up with the help of Georgia's Rivers Alive program. Learn more about organizing a clean up or finding one in your area at Other helpful guides have been produced by the EPA, American Rivers, and Missouri River Relief.
Take advantage of Bridgestone's One Team, One Planet Spent Tire Program. Since Earth Day 2012, this program has salvaged and recycled more than 25,000 tires from over than 80 river cleanups. If you have a cleanup planned be sure to fill out the Community Event Request Form and Bridgestone will collect your tires for free! They ask that you submit your request at least one month before your cleanup event.

Individuals or groups can adopt a water trail or a section of a water trail (similar to adopt-a-highway programs). Volunteers monitor and report on water quality conditions on the trail using Georgia Adopt A Stream's volunteer monitoring program. 
Learn about it at Georgia Adopt-a-Stream.

The Environmental Protection Agency's "How's my Waterway" app and website helps you find information on the condition of your local waterways, what's being done to protect and restore those waterways, and what you can do to help.  And now, How's My Waterway lets people find out even more about their local waterways. The new features include search results color-coded by condition, local information on watersheds, a watershed locator tool, and options to look up dischargers regulated by permits and individual runoff control projects for a specific waterway. To view the app, visit:

Land protection initiatives can increase wildlife habitat and provide viewing opportunities. Local protections that help keep the river clean can include improved zoning and buffer requirements, improved storm water practices, prevention of new water quality threats, and enforcement of water quality laws.

Removing dams that no longer make sense will secure natural river flows, remove recreational safety hazards, and improve access to the river.

There are also several protections that you could petition for your waterway or water trail. Please visit this section if you are interested in applying for more permanent river protection in Georgia.  We are also happy to give you more information about these designations, so feel free to contact us with any questions!!