Hillabahatchee Creek Basin Water Quality Restoration
The Hillabahatchee Creek Basin covers over 80 square miles within the Middle Chattahoochee River Basin near Franklin, Georgia. As part of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) it is one of the most ecologically diverse river basins in Georgia, with varied landscapes and a high diversity of fish, mussels, reptiles, and amphibians, which are increasingly threatened by both local and global stressors. Many of these local stressors include changes to hydrologic conditions, and increased nutrient and sedimentation inputs from landscape alterations. In 2016, the ACF was listed as one of the most endangered rivers in the U.S. by American Rivers’ national ranking.
To address these challenges, The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) is working with a host of regional partners to implement agricultural best management practices to restore riparian zone, reduce nutrient runoff, and improve spring flow and overall ecological condition. Frolona Farms is one such farmstead, where SARP is partnering with the landowner to exclude livestock from the numerous springs and tributaries on the property. Activities include fencing installation to keep livestock out and constructing wells and alternative water sources for livestock to drink in the upland fields. The project will also install low water crossings that provide stable access points for farmers and livestock to move throughout the farm while reducing sedimentation and eliminating the requirement for culverts that often impede aquatic organism passage to critical spawning and foraging habitats.
* Project utilizes best management practices to filter and/or reduce pollution inputs into rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands or near-shore marine areas