Friends help maintain Lake Eufaula

Friends of Lake Eufaula helps to keep USCG station around for safe waters

EUFAULA, AL (WTVM) - Good news for fishermen and boaters. The Navigation Team at the Lake Eufaula Coast Guard station will continue operating.

The friends of Lake Eufaula consists of a group of stakeholders interested in the well being of the lake and promoting the lake's economy and tourism shared by Georgia and Alabama.

The group says without the Aids to Navigation Team at the Lake Eufaula Coast Guard station, it would take away from tourism which is one of the biggest industries in Eufaula.

The U.S. Coast Guard initially planned to close the station at the end of the 2015 fiscal year citing budget constraints but has reconsidered due to safety and community concerns. Friends of Lake Eufaula say hundreds use the waterways for fishing competitions and recreational activities.

The Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) helps to keep the river systems including the Chattahoochee River safe for boaters and fishers.

"It's important all up and down the entire waterway from Columbus down to Apalachicola. I know that the city of Columbus would love to have a marina someday and they been working towards that for some time. Having this waterway navigable safely is key to the success of that marina. A lot of the boats are going to come up from the Gulf," Dennis Fineout said.

Last month, Alabama and Georgia Congressmen, including Sanford Bishop sent letters to the Admiral of the Coast Guard asking the station to remain open.

Admiral Paul Zukunft of the Coast Guard responded by saying the station will remain open until the AIDS are no longer needed for safe waterways navigation.

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