A bill to preserve and protect the Chattahoochee River is now law.
The Chattahoochee River Act authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work on water projects up and down the Chattahoochee River throughout Georgia.
The new law “will help improve water quality, protect essential public works and restore ecosystems along the river — which are all vital to Georgia’s drinking water supply, agricultural industry, power generation and more,” according to a press release from Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia.
The Chattahoochee River Basin extends from Northeast Georgia to Florida, crossing into Alabama. Lake Lanier, which follows much of Hall County’s western boundary, is part of the headwaters.
The bill, signed into law as part of this year’s Water Resources and Development Act reauthorization, also calls for developing a plan to provide design and construction dollars for water-related resource protection and restoration projects.
“The Chattahoochee River Program will encourage cooperation between federal and state agencies and stakeholders,” said Jason Ulseth of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a Georgia environmental watchdog group.
“It is hard to overstate the importance of this river to Georgia, Alabama, and Florida,” said Katherine Moore, Georgia Conservancy president. “This law will provide Georgia and Alabama with new tools to continue the vital conservation and restoration of this precious natural resource for all users.”
Linda MacGregor, director of the department of water resources for the city of Gainesville, said she looks forward to future projects to maintain the river.
“We are pleased that the Chattahoochee River has received national support and look forward to participating in more projects to further protect the lake and river,” MacGregor said.