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The Spring Creek Watershed Partnership

The Spring Creek Watershed Partnership (SCWP) is a major effort to preserve one of the last remaining free flowing creeks in Georgia. Citizens in six southwestern counties are working together to address concerns over water quality, streambank erosion, and aquatic habitat. State, local and federal agencies including the Fish and Wildlife Service are providing technical assistance to help achieve these goals.

Goals of the SCWP

The SCWP was established on October 8, 2003 when six county commissioners signed The Spring Creek Watershed Partnership Conservation Agreement. Their goal was to promote watershed management in southwest Georgia. A Steering Committee meets regularly to discuss methods for strengthening the partnership through community development, education, and cooperation with private landowners. A majority of resources and funding to accomplish these goals will come from grants as well as donations .

Description and Location

The Spring Creek watershed drains 530,000 acres of land in southwest Georgia. The headwaters of Spring Creek originate from natural springs in Clay, Calhoun, and Early Counties. Spring Creek then continues its journey through Miller, Decatur, and Seminole Counties where it empties into Lake Seminole. The watershed is part of the larger Flint River System and sits on top of the Floridan/Jacksonian Aquifer and the Claiborne Aquifer systems.

Why is the SCWP Needed

Spring Creek has been identified as an impaired waterbody under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. This designation was identified because Aycocks Creek has high concentrations of fecal coliform, and Spring Creek has low dissolved oxygen and high sediment loads. Many people depend on the natural resources surrounding Spring Creek for drinking water, hunting, fishing, agriculture, waste removal, and transportation, making this stream extremely valuable for the local economy and employment opportunities.

The Partnership brings together all entities interested in recovering and cleaning up Spring Creek with a coordinated management plan for water quality and fish and wildlife protection. A Steering Committee, Technical Committee, and Outreach Committee have been formed to begin development a management plan. The management plan would provide long-term direction and guidance for protecting the resources of Spring Creek.

Water Quality Concerns

  • Erosion and Sedimentation/Turbidity - unpaved road input, agricultural land erosion and run off, streambank failure from erosion, channel instability, and livestock access to stream, and high in-channel sediment loading
  • Agricultural Irrigation - (center pivot irrigation systems) - reduction of spring flow and impacting ground water supply
  • Pathogens - sewer lines and failing septic tanks, livestock contamination, fecal coliform, dissolved oxygen

Members of Spring Creek Watershed Partnership:

  • Private landowners along Spring Creek and its tributaries
  • County residents and concerned citizens living within the Spring Creek Watershed
  • Counties of Miller, Early, Clay, Seminole, Decatur, and Calhoun
  • Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.
  • Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Panama City Field Office and Georgia Ecological Services Office)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources

 


Credit: Source for much of the above text comes from The Spring Creek Watershed Partnership brochure, edited by Chris Metcalf, USFWS, Panama City, FL.


 

For more information please contact:

Chris Metcalf, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1601 Balboa Ave
Panama City, FL 32405
(850)769-0552 ext. 224
chris_metcalf@fws.gov

Debbie Henry
Natural Resource Conservation Service
150 West St.
Colquitt, GA 39837
229-728-2496 ext. 101
debbie.henry@ga.usda.gov

Jerome Brown
Golden Triangle Resource Conservation
and Development Council, Inc.
712-R County Street
Blakely, GA 31723
229-723-3841
jerome.brown@ga.usda.gov

 

Last updated: November 16, 2012