Savannah Riverkeeper voyage concludes with lock passage and homecoming celebration

15-day Savannah-Augusta river voyage complete

Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:45 PM
Last updated Friday, March 16, 2012 8:43 AM
  • Follow Latest News

An upstream passage through New Savannah Bluff’s wood-gated locks was the final hurdle for Savannah Riverkeeper’s 15-day fundraising adventure that ended Thursday.

“We’re finally back into Lake Augusta,” said Tonya Bonitatibus, the group’s director, who left Tybee Island on March 2 and traveled 200 river miles while conducting interviews and making a series of documentary video clips about the river and its many features.

The lock, built in 1937 to boost a lagging commercial shipping industry, serves as an elevator of sorts that allows boats to move back and forth from the lower river to the Augusta pool, which is held at a higher elevation by the New Savannah Bluff Dam.

The trip’s memorable final day began farther downstream with a fog-shrouded sunrise and a biscuit breakfast around a campfire.

By late afternoon, a final stop was made along a sandbar strewn with gravel and prehistoric shards of Indian pottery.

“We did one last interview there,” Bonitatibus said.

The subject – Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy research biologist Jason Moak – talked about fish migration, the plight of the endangered sturgeon and other river issues.

Back at the Sav­annah River­keeper office building at the city marina, it was time for Gatorade and a homecoming party with food provided by downtown restaurants.

The trip, dubbed Sav­annah River Challenge 2012, was created as a way to draw attention to the river. It was also a fundraiser and membership drive, netting about $26,000 for the nonprofit organization.

MORE ONLINE

Watch more video diaries from the Savannah Riverkeeper’s trip at www.youtube.com/user/SavannahRiverkeeper.

Comments (11) 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
15998
Points
Dixieman 03/15/12 - 05:05 pm
1
5
More of the AC just

More of the AC just essentially just reprinting this left-wing group's press releases. Now they have a warchest of $26,000 to pursue job-killing litigation and their socialist shut-'er-down agenda. Shame on anyone who is taken in by this watermelon group (green on the outside, red on the inside). Why doesn't the AC ever write anything critical about this group??
Don't believe me? Check their website which lists the Southern Environmental Law Group as one of their valued "partners" and here's the latest from them:

"Georgia and South Carolina conservation groups today filed papers asking that the South Carolina Supreme Court declare that the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s approval of a controversial project to deepen the Savannah River was illegal. Attorneys from the Southern Environmental Law Center filed today’s claim in the S. C. Supreme Court in Columbia, S.C., on behalf of the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, Savannah Riverkeeper, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.

“DHEC had no authority to cut a backroom deal with Georgia and issue a permit for this destructive, wasteful project because the South Carolina legislature gave authority over this matter to the Savannah River Maritime Commission in 2007,” said Frank Holleman, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “We’re asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to declare that the DHEC Board acted unlawfully by usurping powers vested in the commission.”

Bye-bye port jobs.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 03/16/12 - 08:44 am
1
1
Give 'em heck Riverkeepers.

Give 'em heck Riverkeepers.

pep607
65
Points
pep607 03/16/12 - 08:51 am
1
1
I found the daily video of

I found the daily video of the river very educational for someone who is not from this area. Will try to see that my family watches. Thanks for for a learning experience. I am not left-wing. My contribution should be considered support for the education I am enjoying from this trip. I grew up on rivers far north of here.My ancestors built boats and traveled rivers to fish and transport people and goods. All worked in jobs related to the river. I hope that river has a "keeper".

itsanotherday1
45432
Points
itsanotherday1 03/16/12 - 08:55 am
2
1
Techfan, I generally support

Techfan, I generally support that sentiment. I think organizations like this keep businesses honest and raise awareness of our impact on the environment. On the other hand, I don't like it when they get too powerful and hamstring reasonable progress over things like the snail darter.

Riverman1
86961
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 10:18 am
1
1
I have a family membership in

I have a family membership in S Riverkeepers and don't get the negativity directed at them either. I'm about as conservative as Judge Roy Bean, the hanging judge.

unbiased_propaganda
165
Points
unbiased_propaganda 03/16/12 - 01:38 pm
0
0
Dixieman - We get it - you

Dixieman - We get it - you say the same thing about the Riverkeeper on every story that mentions their name. But what does that make you? Someone that hides behind a computer and throws salt on a non-profit organization that is actually DOING SOMETHING about the pollution problem.

When is the last time you actually got your butt off your couch/computer seat to pull trash out of OUR river? Probably NEVER! You think if groups like this disappeared your life would be improved? NO - you wouldn't have a life because all the world's drinking water would be GONE. It would be full of toxins so you NOR your two beautiful daughters (and their children by the way) would have NOTHING TO DRINK.

I know, I know - don't worry though...at least they will have jobs to go to right? C'mon Dixieman - use that noggin of yours. Please find something better to do with your life other than spewing hate about a small local non-profit organization working to keep our drinking waters clean.

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 03/16/12 - 02:19 pm
0
0
Dixieman, the story you say

Dixieman, the story you say our newspaper ignored or refused to print
was indeed covered, and worded to prominently convey - in the opening sentence - the Riverkeeper group's role as a plaintiff in the harbor case.
http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2012-02-06/lawsuit-environmenta...

Riverman1
86961
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 02:37 pm
0
0
I appreciate and know the

I appreciate and know the brilliance of Dixieman and who he is, but I don't get his negativity about all this. I also love the writing of Rob Pavey and appreciate his concerns with our environment and keeping us straight on all this. It looks like we may have a little conflict inside the organization on this one.

I believe we all have to do our bits to keep the river clean and flowing. Now just don't talk global warming BS to me.

Riverman1
86961
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 02:42 pm
0
0
I'll also say I've attended

I'll also say I've attended major conferences on the river with the best experts around and the major industries. Olin made lots of good points proving SOME of what they did to the river was reversed 30 miles downstream, but that still doesn't address the fact excessive mercury is being released by them. I don't want them to close or lay anyone off, but they could change to the new chlorine producing methods that are being used over the rest of the country.

itsanotherday1
45432
Points
itsanotherday1 03/16/12 - 02:59 pm
0
0
I appreciate that some of

I appreciate that some of their pollution was abated 30 miles downstream, but what about the fish and wildlife along that 30 miles that WAS polluted? Should I worry about eating fish caught out of that 30 miles? Should we refrain from swimming in that 30 miles? I think it is unacceptable to discharge ANYTHING into the river that has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem.

Riverman1
86961
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 03:01 pm
0
0
True.

True.

Back to Top

Top headlines

SC Speaker Harrell quits, pleas guilty

COLUMBIA - Suspended South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has pleaded guilty to six campaign fiance violations and agreed to resign from office.
Search Augusta jobs