Columbus State, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper partner to keep local waters clean

Published: Oct. 10, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2023 at 9:02 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus State University (CSU) and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper recently announced a partnership that allows CSU students to collect water samples to analyze them for harmful bacteria and chemicals.

One of the ways the students do this is by studying the fish living in the rivers and streams. Dr. Michael Newbry is a professor in the biology department at CSU, and he says the partnership has been very beneficial so far.

“It shows the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper where these problems are occurring in real-time. As a scientist, I collect data. It goes through a peer-review process, and then we publish it. But, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper they can look at the data in real-time and go, ‘Oh. There’s a problem here. Maybe we need to have a closer look at this,’” said Newbry.

CSU students were in the labs today discussing what they look for when they’re researching fish and water samples. Senior Sarah Floyd says studying fish is one of the best ways to check the water quality.

“We’re trying to see if there’s any indication between stream health and the fish that are in there. Fish are really good bio-indicators for things like what’s present in the water and things like that. We’re working alongside the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, trying to see what is in the streams that make up Columbus because we do rely heavily on the Chattahoochee River,” said the student.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is excited about this partnership because it is getting students involved in the community and helping to keep it clean and healthy. Deputy Director Henry Jacobs says we all share a common goal.

“I think partnerships, not just this one between Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Columbus State University, but the other organizations, utilities, here in the community. Everybody has the same goal in mind, clean water,” said Jacobs.

The water that fish are living in is the water that we rely on here in the Chattahoochee Valley. More information about the Neighborhood Watch program can be found by clicking here.