Flint River #2 Most Endangered River in America

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As one of the last untouched rivers in Georgia, the Flint gives nature lovers a chance to enjoy 200 miles of undammed waters...something virtually unheard of in these times.

But with the combination of the tri-state water wars along with Georgia's long standing drought, there is a renewed effort in the U.S. Congress to build three new dams along the flint.

Naturally, conservationists are worried.

"A potential disaster to destroy 35 miles of the prettiest rivers left in Georgia," said Sam Brewton, a Board Member of the Flint RiverKeepers.

The plan to dam the river has helped catapult the Flint to the #2 spot on the list of America's Most Endangered Rivers.

Part of the plan would include the creation of a reservoir lake near Sprewell Bluff, one of the river's biggest tourist attractions right in the middle of Talbot and Taylor counties.

Over 85,000 acres of land would be put underwater, virtually destroying the infamous ecosystem.

"It would flood the shoal bass the shoal lilies, and the fish and fauna we're fond of would be wiped out completely," said Mark Woodall, another member of the Flint Riverkeepers.

Supporters of the dam plan say it would prevent flooding downstream in places like Albany, who have been hit hard by the recent rains.

The Army Corps of Engineers, though, say dams that far upstream wouldn't help with flooding concerns down river.

With two prominent Atlanta congressmen backing the plan, some Flint activists say the real reason for the dam is all about bringing more water to overpopulated Atlanta metro area.

"I think you have to be aware downstream on the Chattahoochee, because Congressman Nathan deal represents the Lake Lanier area,  and they want to hoard all the water in Atlanta," said Woodall.