Finding Out about Problems in Your Watershed

Q: Our watershed group wants to find all the information we can about what is going on in our watershed.  How do we get the best, most up to date information about activities that are impacting local rivers and streams?

A: There are a lot of ways to find out what’s impacting your local waters—some take referencing a website and others are slightly more labor-intensive.  Below is a list of things that can help you start:

  • Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD)
    All EPD Permits announcements, stream buffer advisories, public comment and other notices are now available from EPD’s redesigned webpage:

  • If you would like to receive stream buffer variances delivered to your email account, contact:
    Kim Jenkins
    NonPoint Source Program
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • EPD Environet: To receive copies of proposed rules at least 30 days prior to their consideration by the Board of Natural Resources via mail or e-mail at no charge, add your name to the EPD Environet database by calling 888.373.5947.  You can also find these online:

  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
    To receive announcements regarding Coastal Resources Division, Parks, Wildlife Resources Division or other DNR activities, sign-up online:

  • US Army Corps of Engineers
    All Corps announcements, including Public Notices and Joint Public Notices are available online:

    You can have notices delivered to your email account: To subscribe, please complete this form and e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or fax to 912-652-5995; or mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ATTN: CESAS-RD, 100 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31401-3640. You can modify or cancel your subscription at any time by submitting a revised form or by contacting our office.

  • Public Notices
    Looking for a clearinghouse for notices – visit the Georgia Press Association’s Statewide Database of Public Notices from Georgia’s Legal Organ Newspapers:

  • Pay attention to local government decision making.  Because each county and/or city government is organized differently, it’s important to understand fully who the decision makers are for your area, how the decisions are made and how you can comment on the process. For instance, some local governments have excellent websites that are regularly updated with meeting times and agendas.  Other governments in the state make it necessary to call a specific office in order to find out about meetings, so find out how things work in your area.

  • Keep up with local news! Keep an eye out for local rezoning or land use decisions, comprehensive land use plans, buffer variances, changes to ordinances that impact land or water, it could be anything! Keep your eyes open! A subscription to a local paper is a good way to keep on top of local news!  

  • Paddle your local rivers and keep an eye (nose, ears, etc) out for anything unusual.  Georgia River Network can provide you with training on how to spot erosion and sedimentation problems through the Get the Dirt Out program.  Contact Jesslyn at our office if you would like to schedule training for your group.