A community conversation about streams and people
The above photograph may look like a well-maintained stream bank, but in fact, such a “clean” stream bank fails to perform many of the functions it’s intended to perform. Many landowners maintain lawns or crops up to the edges of streams, apply fertilizer and pesticides, and remove down wood from the stream. Altering streams and streamside forests in this way reduces stream width, degrades habitat, reduces the absorption of rain water, and negatively increases stream temperatures, all to the detriment of the health of the stream and wildlife.
Macon County has been home for more than 60 years to Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, one of the most preeminent hydrologic research organizations in the world. Now, through The “Coweeta Listening Project” (CLP), the center is working to make the studies of the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) meaningful and useful to individuals and the local community, and to make connections between scientific study and community needs and concerns.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, the League of Women Voters of Macon County will host a program by the Coweeta Listening Project focusing on applicable information on the links between land use and ecosystem health and on developing effective collaboration between the community and the institution.
Dr. Rhett Jackson, Professor of Hydrology at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, will speak and lead the conversation. Jackson conducts research on the effects of human land use activities on stream and wetland habitat and geomorphology. His recent research has focused on the effectiveness of forestry best management practices, the long-term effects of historic agricultural sediments in the southeast, the multiple effects of urbanization and suburbanization on streams, the effects of center pivot irrigation on streamflows and habitat quality, and nutrient runoff from agricultural operations.
The program will be held in Tartan Hall at noon. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch and drink. The public is invited.