Savannah Riverkeeper's upstream voyage in 12th day

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:29 PM
Last updated 7:10 PM
  • Follow Latest News

The upstream odyssey of Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus entered its 12th day Tuesday, with 160 miles behind her and barely 30 more left before Thursday’s planned homecoming in Augusta.

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus and her son, Cole, passed Plant Vogtle on day 12 of her 200-mile journey upriver.  SPECIAL
Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus and her son, Cole, passed Plant Vogtle on day 12 of her 200-mile journey upriver.

“We were in front of Plant Vogtle this morning,” the environmental group’s director said. “Every time you go around a bend there is something new.”

Piloting a 20-foot Caro­lina skiff, Bonitatibus launched the journey near Tybee Island on March 2, making stops to visit with elected officials, landowners, anglers and others
whose lives are touched by the Savannah.

“We’ve seen more gators this trip than ever before,” she said. “Especially in the stretch from Brier Creek to Little Hell Landing.”

The trip, dubbed Savan­nah River Challenge 2012, is also a fundraiser, with a plan to move just one mile upstream for each $200 raised for the organization – a goal of $40,000.

“Right now it doesn’t look like we will meet our goal, but we’ll come out somewhere close to $26,000, which is good,” she said.

“The most welcoming thing in this whole experience has been the people,” she said. “Everyone we’ve met at all our stops has been wonderful.”

In addition to exploring oxbows and Indian mounds and dodging garfish and gators, Bonitatibus is also on a quest to help others learn more about the river through a series of short documentary videos she and her colleagues are producing each day.

“We’re still interviewing the people we meet and showing everyone what there is to see,” she said.

Among the most striking changes seen along the river in recent years is the extent of logging in its vast cypress swamps, which can
take centuries to regenerate.

“The economic downturn has wreaked havoc on the hardwoods,” Bonitatibus said. “But losing those big cypress trees really breaks your heart.”

After stops in Jackson, S.C., and south Richmond Coun­ty, the skiff is scheduled to pass through New Sa­vannah Bluff Lock and arrive back in Augusta on Thurs­day.

A 5:30 p.m. homecoming party is planned at the group’s headquarters next to the Boat House facility at the city marina.


Watch a video diary of the Riverkeeper’s voyage at

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Dixieman 03/14/12 - 08:57 am
I wish the AC would quit

I wish the AC would quit running this outfit's press releases and pretending that they are news. This is a left-wing anti-jobs classic "watermelon" organization -- green on the outside and red on the inside, elected by no one, accountable to know one, that sponsors job-killing litigation.

David Parker
David Parker 03/14/12 - 11:26 am


unbiased_propaganda 03/15/12 - 04:02 pm
Dixieman - There are

Dixieman - There are thousands of non-profit organizations that do GREAT work around the world. They definitely do more than people like you - sit around all day criticizing other people that actually get out there and try to sustain our resources so future generations can continue to enjoy them.

And those job-killing litigations you speak of. So you would rather have a couple hundred jobs today if it means no more clean drinking water tomorrow.

That sure makes a lot of sense....NOT! Let me ask you....what do YOU do to help make sure our world can sustain itself in the future? Do YOU participate in the clean ups where hundreds of volunteers walk and clean trash out of our waters? I bet not. You are too busy ridiculing the ones that actually do something about it.

unbiased_propaganda 03/15/12 - 04:07 pm
Dixieman - Learn the facts

Dixieman - Learn the facts before you bash people doing good work. An example I bet you are referring to when you say 'job-killing litigation' is the Olin plant being forced to stop using the ancient chlorine-making process.

They were pouring tons of mercury into OUR and YOUR drinking water (tons above the allowed limits in our laws by the way) - but you would rather risk your children and grandchildren not having clean water to save a couple hundred jobs today huh?

What good will your job be if you don't have water to live on? You can't WORK WITHOUT WATER! Much less do ANYTHING WITHOUT WATER.

Riverman1 03/15/12 - 05:47 pm
Unbiased is right about Olin

Unbiased is right about Olin using the old chlorine production system that's polluting the river. Also, Dixieman's characterization of Savannah River Keepers is unfair. I sent them my check and I'm not a communist. Heh.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Class action lawsuit to proceed against Sentinel Offender Services
Friday's ruling by Judge Daniel J. Craig means that anyone sentenced for a misdemeanor offense in Columbia County Superior Court may be a party to the lawsuit that seeks to recover from Sentinel ...