Watersheds across southwest Georgia face a number of threats: irrigation; development; sedimentation; impoundments; and more. Fish, mussels, and migratory birds all suffer from the degradation of habitat.
Partners for Fish and Wildlife, along with local and nonprofit groups, though, has undertaken a series of construction projects to boost priority watersheds in the rural corner of Georgia. Recently, Partners from West Georgia and the Florida Panhandle joined with the nonprofit Golden Triangle Resource Conservation & Development Council to fix eroding roads in Miller County.
Heavy rains filled ditches and culverts leading to serious road erosion alongside Spring Creek. Sediment spilled into the creek impacting listed, at-risk, and rare freshwater mussels, including shiny-rayed pocketbooks and oval pigtoes, as well as other aquatic and bird species. The county’s road department, with assistance from the Partners, elevated and graded roadbeds and laid down a granite and fabric base. Larger culverts were installed. Ditches were rebuilt, lined with riprap and seeded to prevent erosion. Homeowners, too, benefited from the more stable, less swampy roads. The county provided the labor and the Partners paid for the materials.
The Partners program will continue working with the conservation council, as well as private landowners, counties and municipalities, to bolster streams, exclude livestock, plant vegetation and eradicate invasive species – all for the benefit of aquatic species and migratory birds.