ATLANTA - The Georgia Water Coalition has once again released a list of its "Dirty Dozen," which highlights 12 of the worst offenses to Georgia's waterways. Four of the reported offenders are in north Georgia.
Coalition members say the annual report spotlights state policies and failures that ultimately harm Georgia property owners, downstream communities, fish and wildlife, hunters and anglers, and boaters and swimmers.
"The Dirty Dozen is not a list of the most polluted water bodies in Georgia, nor are they ranked in any particular order," said Joe Cook, Riverkeeper and Executive Director at the Coosa River Basin Initiative.
"It"s a list of problems that exemplify the results of inadequate funding for environmental protections, lack of political will to enforce environmental laws and ultimately misguided water planning and spending priorities that flow from the very top of Georgia's leadership."
Included on this year's list are the Chattahoochee and Etowah Rivers. Cook says plans by Governor Nathan Deal's administration to build reservoirs on those two rivers wastes taxpayer money and incites more water conflicts with Alabama and Florida.
Flat Creek in Gainesville appears on the list again this year. The Coalition cites polluted runoff from poultry plants as a major contributor to bacteria being fed into Lake Lanier.
The group also points out this summer's issues on Lake Alice in Cumming, where the breach of a dam during heavy rainfalls sent mud and silt into Lake Lanier.
Another north Georgia area that's being damaged is Hurricane Creek in Lumpkin County. Cook says illegal ATV use on Sheep Wallow Road is sending tons of sediment into the stream and ultimately damages the Etowah River.
See the link below for a detailed look at this year's Dirty Dozen list.