The Altamaha River, formed by the confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers, is the major surface water feature in the region. The Altamaha Region encompasses several major population centers including Vidalia, Jesup, Swainsboro, Eastman, and Glennville. The Altamaha Regional Water Planning Council meets regularly between plan updates to discuss ongoing implementation of the plan, outreach to interested stakeholders, and hear the latest on water issues affecting the Region. Below is a summary of ongoing activities.
Regional Water Plan Seed Grants
Regional Water Plan Seed Grants provide competitive funding annually to support and incentivize local governments and other water users as they undertake implementation of the Regional Water Plan. The Grants require cash and in-kind match, and have a maximum project amount. Additional information about Seed Grants may be found at EPD’s website: SEED GRANTS
During the 2018 seed grant cycle, the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (UGA CAES) was awarded a seed grant to integrate cooperative extension county agents in the promotion and implementation of multiple agricultural management practices within the Altamaha, Coastal Georgia, and Suwannee-Satilla Water Planning Regions. This project was completed in 2021.
For the FY2020 seed grant cycle, the Pine Country Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council was awarded a seed grant to implement soil erosion and nutrient control management practices in the region. The primary project goals are to:
- Develop Livestock and Agricultural Best Management Practice (BMP) demonstrational sites to be used to promote practice utilization as well as increase landowner knowledge of available practices used in reducing non-point source pollution (NPS).
- Provide educational opportunities for landowners, producers, and nutrient management planners/operators to gain additional knowledge and insight on BMP utilization as well as available technical and financial assistance resources.
- Through cooperation and collaboration with various federal, state, and local agencies and entities, gather data that includes landowners/producers that are interested in implementing BMPs identified in the Altamaha Regional Water Plan, an estimate of BMP needs of the interested landowners/producers and associated cost, and develop a plan for future implementation of the needed BMPs.
For the FY2022 seed grant cycle, the University of Georgia Extension was awarded a seed grant to implement a Master Irrigator Program in the State of Georgia. This is a two-phase program which includes education for agricultural producers in the Altamaha Region and funding for installation and monitoring of sensors for each participant and season-long guidance for producers by University faculty.
Members of the Regional Council participate in outreach activities to increase knowledge and understanding of the Regional Plan. Outreach activities in the Altamaha Region have focused on agricultural groups. An outreach meeting was held in March 2019 for the Georgia Young Farmers Association. The council also gave a presentation to the Wayne Leadership group in May 2018.
Regional Newsletter and Fact Sheet
EPD collaborated with the planning contractors and Council Chairs to create a newsletter to keep Council Members updated on the work conducted during the 2020-2023 Regional Water Plan Update. Topics covered include updates from EPD, planning process and resource assessment overviews, forecasting results, and funding updates. Newsletter editions may be released on a quarterly basis or after Council Meetings, as appropriate. The 2023 Fact Sheet was developed to capture the highlights of the 2023 Regional Water Plan Update. The released newsletters and fact sheet can be found below.