Digging Deeper: What's in the Kinchafoonee Creek?

Water levels are at an all-time low on many south Georgia rivers and creeks.  The Kinchafoonee Creek is so low, a lot of items that have been submerged for years are turning up.

That includes a boat that was hidden for 13-years.  The low water will actually help with an upcoming clean up effort on the creek.

The southern section of the Kinchafoonee Creek has been cleaned by River's Alive for the last several years and remains relatively clear of debris. Now the group is working on other sections of the Creek and what they've found is pretty interesting.

Low creek levels in the Kinchafoonee Creek have revealed an overturned boat, submerged for 13 years.

"We're taking advantage of the low water levels to get as much trash out of the creeks as we can," said Jim Wright, Lee County Code Enforcement Director.

Thursday Lee County's CERT volunteers and off duty fire fighters made an attempt to surface it.

"They're going to use some inter tubes and attempt to get the inter tubes placed under the boat and then fill the inter tubes with air to aid them in getting the boat back up to be taken out," said Wright.

It took a little more than an hour to roll the Chaparral boat with a South Carolina Registration from February of 1998. Eventually it was floated to the Pinewood Road bridge to be removed, but it's not the first big item to be pulled from the creek.

"We got a Dr. Pepper Drink Machine out of the Kinchafoonee, we've gotten an engine block, couple of bicycles, washing machine, sheet metal, trash cans, you name it we have probably found it in the creek," said Wright.

River's Alive in several weeks will walk the creek, clearing it of debris. They say low creek levels are making it easy to find the things many have discarded.

"The good news is we have seen a decrease in the amount of trash that we're finding on the lower ends of the Kinchafooonee and the Muckalee," said Wright.

Digging Deeper we learned there can be some serious fines, up to a thousand dollars if you're caught dumping in the creek.

"If we catch you dumping in the creek you will get a ticket," said Wright.

Code enforcement say it's important to preserve the resources for people to use.

"They need to enjoy the creek, they fish, they swim they see a lot of the unique sites that are on the Kinchafoonee Creek," said Wright.

They encourage south Georgia's to spend an afternoon, paddling the creek, taking advantage of a valuable resource so close to home.

The River's Alive event is scheduled for July 16th. If you want to participate in the creek cleanup you can contact the Lee County Code Enforcement Office at (229)759-6000.

The boat they pulled from the creek Thursday weighted 1,280 pounds.

The Department of Natural Resources will try to run the registration information on the boat recovered today and find out the circumstance under which it sank.

Crews already cleared a place for the boat in a scrap yard.

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