Aucilla River Project
The goal of this project is for Golden Triangle RC&D to develop a Nine Element Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for the Aucilla River watershed HUC #0311010301 which is in the Ochlockonee River Basin. Golden Triangle RC&D will develop a Nine Element WMP by utilizing USEPA’s “Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters."
Olive Creek is located in the southeast section of the City of Thomasville in Thomas County within the Ochlockonee River Basin. Olive Creek is listed for two independent sections not supporting their water use classification of fishing. Section 1 of Olive Creek, Headwaters to upstream U.S. Hwy. 19, Thomasville is 3 miles long. Section 2 of Olive Creek, U.S. Highway 19 to Aucilla River,(formerly Headwaters to Aucilla River), is 6 miles long. The Aucilla River (Masse Branch to Brooks County line near Boston) is also listed and is 10 miles long. Section 1 of Olive Creek and the Aucilla River are listed for Fecal Coliform and Dissolved Oxygen while Section 2 of Olive Creek is listed for a fair ranking for macroinvertebrates.
Big Slough & Cooleewahee Creek
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) has contracted with Golden Triangle RCD to implement a comprehensive Watershed Basin Plan for the Big Slough and Cooleewahee Creek Watershed. GAEPD has identified 20 miles of impaired streams from within the Big Slough and Cooleewahee Creek Watershed. The impaired waters encompass Big Slough near Pelham in Mitchell County, and Cooleewahee Creek from Piney Woods to Flint River near Newton. The project is a 3 year project which started in April of 2015.
The Golden Triangle has held stakeholder/advisory public meetings to provide a forum for the public and partners to discuss the implementation of Watershed Basin Plan which will restore the creeks to their designated use of fishing.
The implementation of this project will focus in Baker, Dougherty and Mitchell counties.
Project activities include installation of Best Management Practices for livestock and agriculture along with Better Back Road installations. Educational and outreach components play a key role in the implementation of this project.
An advisory board is in place and landowner eligibility is in progress.
Ochlockonee Watershed Management Grant
Golden Triangle RC&D of Blakely proudly announces the receipt of 319(h) grant funds from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for the clean-up and restoration of the Little Ochlockonee Watershed including Big Creek (headwaters to Little Creek), Lost Creek (upstream on Hwy 93), and the Little Ochlockonee River (Slocomb Branch) located within Mitchell, Colquitt, Thomas, Worth, and Grady counties in Southwest Georgia. The goal of this project is to work with stakeholder and partners toward developing and implementing a comprehensive Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for the Ochlockonee Creek Watershed. The plan will address fecal coliform, dissolved oxygen, phosphorus and nitrogen and recommend effective best management practices (BMPs) to remove/reduce by 20% or greater the pollutant and nutrient loads within the creek, while conducting educational outreach and water quality monitoring.
All stakeholder meetings are complete and site visits have begun. An advisory board is in place. The grant is scheduled to be complete in September of 2017
USDA Household Water Well Loan Program
This loan program is designed to help low income rural homeowners construct or upgrade household water well systems. The funding is provided through USDA Rural Development's Household Water Well System grant program.
The Household Water Well Grant program complements environmental initiatives and provides support for rural residents. Many rural residents do not live in areas where a centralized water system is available, therefore it is essential that rural residents have access to wells that are safe and working.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Individuals may be eligible for loans if their annual household income does not exceed 100 percent of their state or territory's median non-metropolitan income. This loan may not be used for home sewer or septic system projects.
Golden Triangle has been awarded this grant every year since 2010. Through 2016, 80 new wells were installed or repaired for low income citizens.
Documents to Download:
Household Water Well Loan Application >
Household Well Preferred Provider List >
US Partners for Fish & Wildlife - Sowahatchee Road Project – Early County
The purpose of this grant was to facilitate habitat restoration and improvement primarily for Federal trust resources in wetlands, floodplains, streams, and riparian areas in priority watersheds of southwestern Georgia. With the assistance of FWS, we were able to access habitat restoration and improvement needs and negotiate associated project proposals with landowners.
Benefits from this project include (1) reduction of sediment runoff (2) increased stream bank stabilization (3) increased shading of streams for cooler water temperatures (4) consistent nutrient inputs for the system (5) stopover foraging and nesting habitat stability for neotropical migratory birds (6) suitable habitat for federally listed freshwater mussels and numerous other aquatic species and (7) protection of suitable spawning and brood rearing habitat for the listed gulf sturgeon and gulf coast striped bass.
For this road project, the areas north and south of the bridge received small turn-outs and the ditches were filled with rock to reduce the sedimentation run-off into the creek. The project was complete in July 2016.
This agreement is on-going until 2018 and will provide work on additional unpaved backroads in other counties.
Spring Creek Watershed Management Program
The Spring Creek project began in 2005 with the receipt of a 319h grant and support from the Environmental Protection Division Watershed Branch in Atlanta. This funding allowed Golden Triangle and the Spring Creek Watershed Partnership to collaborate with local, state, and county officials, natural resource experts from private, state, and federal agencies, Georgia Soil and Water, Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center and local landowners to address water quality concerns within Spring Creek. Clay, Calhoun, Decatur, Early, Miller, and Seminole counties were involved with the project. Natural resource experts included the Department of Forestry, US Fish and Wildlife, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
With the commitment of the stakeholders, partnering organizations, and local landowners, the Spring Creek Partnership along with Golden Triangle RC&D were able to complete the following: Installation of over 95 Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to include exclusion fencing, irrigation retrofits, heavy use areas, critical area planting, filter strips, stream bank restoration/stabilization, and sediment control plans, 8 field day/educational workshops, 6 River clean-up events, 6 Adopt-A-Stream workshops, 7 Better Back Roads Projects that included: Nichols Subdivision, Lake Decatur Road, Fish Pond Drain, Harmony Church Road, Clay Brown Road, and New Salem Road.
This concentrated and collaborative effort reduced pollutants within Spring Creek by the following:
A water augmentation site was installed on Spring Creek in Colquitt for the federally endangered Oval Pigtoe (Pluerobema Pyriforme), and Shinyrayed Pocketbook (Lampsilis Subangulata) mussel.
US Fish and Wildlife tag, count, and measure the mussels each year to gauge their growth patterns
Urban 5 Star
The purpose of this grant at the Fannie Askew Williams Park was to develop an outdoor education area, install an ecological scenic loop trail with self-guided interpretive panels that list the diverse flora and fauna of the ecosystem, and install native riparian vegetation to control erosion run-off and provide additional wildlife habitats. Trash and recycle containers were installed to reduce trash and other pollutants from entering the waterways. Concrete seating in the shape of logs was installed to create a classroom area which is used by local schools, churches and other organizations. A Rivers Alive Cleanup was held at the project site to involve the citizens of the county.
Partners for this project include: Golden Triangle RC&D, Early County Road Dept., Early County Boy Scouts, NFWF, Southern Company, Early County Elementary, and Early County community at large.
White Oak Pastures Savory Institute Training
The purpose of this grant was to support the implementation of White Oak Pastures as a Savory HUB and the Savory Institute’s mission of promoting large scale restoration of the world’s grasslands through Holistic Management. The Savory Institute has established 8 hubs throughout the world. These hubs are strategically placed around the world to empower people to properly manage livestock to heal the land.
In September of 2016, White Oak Pastures hosted training for their staff, land managers, other organizations, and governments.
Office of Advocacy and Outreach
On-Farm Conservation Implementation Assistance
For Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Veteran Farmers
The Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council (GTRCD) received a sub-award to support the efforts of Albany State University on this project. In September 2015, we completed a one year project with the college. This partnership has proven to be especially productive in reaching producers targeted by the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO). The Golden Triangle RC&D assisted with outreach meetings, data collection and reporting but primarily with field personnel. The GTRCD provided two outreach technicians to work on-site with farmers gathering information necessary for conservation plan completion, identifying resource concerns, setting up demonstration sites and other technical assistance.
2015 Office of Advocacy and Outreach Grant
Through educational outreach, technical assistance, and technology adoption, this project worked to enhance profitability and environmental sustainability for historically underserved farmers, veterans, and ranchers. The project goals that were completed:
1. Provide 2 demonstration workshops that will feature information on farm conservation planning, soil/nutrient management, new and current USDA programs, heir property, estate planning, product and commodity marketing, and drip irrigation.
2. Develop and facilitate a farmer mentoring pilot project on 2 farms, which will help grow the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and veteran producers.
3. Produce 3 innovative videos (5-8 minutes each) that will highlight producers from diverse socially disadvantaged communities, provide "how to" plans for drip irrigation systems, provide information on the importance of estate planning and heir property, and document the highlights of the mentoring program.
4. Increase the number of completed conservation plans by SDVFR through on-farm technical assistance.
5. Install remote field monitoring equipment on 5 SDVFR farms.