Washington, D.C. –– U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff today introduced a bill to preserve and protect Georgia’s Chattahoochee River.
The Chattahoochee River Act, which he introduced alongside Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, 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.
“The Chattahoochee River is one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources, vital to Georgia’s drinking water, agriculture, and our natural environment. That’s why I’ve written this bill to protect, preserve, and restore the Chattahoochee River for generations to come,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“The health of our communities in Georgia is tied to the health of our environment,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “While the Chattahoochee River’s water quality has improved in recent years, there is still 1,000 miles of Chattahoochee watershed waterways that do not meet water-quality standards. Clean water is essential for heathy and thriving communities. So, I’m proud to work with Senator Ossoff to introduce legislation to invest in improving, protecting, and preserving the Chattahoochee River.”
According to the Georgia River Network, the Chattahoochee supplies 70 percent of metro Atlanta’s drinking water.
The river is also a key source of water for farmers and agriculture, and it’s a key source of power through hydroelectric dams. As of 2013, the state of Georgia has approved more than 6,700 water withdrawal permits for agricultural use.
In 2019, the National Park Service reported visitors to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area added more than $200 million to the local economy, supporting over 2,000 local jobs.
According to Chattahoochee RiverKeeper, more than 1,000 miles of waterway within the Chattahoochee watershed do not meet water quality standards, creating potential health risks to both humans and wildlife.
“Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is excited to support the Chattahoochee River Act,” said Jason Ulseth, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “Senator Ossoff’s and Warnock’s Chattahoochee River Program will encourage co-operation between federal and state agencies, and stakeholders. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper looks forward to working alongside Senators Ossoff and Warnock to protect and restore a river millions of people depend on.”
“This legislation builds upon the successful efforts of improving Chattahoochee River water quality during the last fifteen years. It is hard to overstate the importance of this river to Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. When enacted, this bill will provide Georgia and Alabama with new tools to continue the vital conservation and restoration of this precious natural resource for all users,” said Katherine Moore, Georgia Conservancy President.
” The Chattahoochee River Act will benefit all citizens across the watershed, which is so very important for educational organizations like the Chattahoochee Nature Center. We are fortunate that our campus is adjacent to such a fantastic natural resource as the Chattahoochee River that continues to inspire our visitors and our staff. Everything we do at CNC works to connect people with nature and the River. We thank Senator Ossoff and Senator Warnock for their work on this important legislation,” said Natasha B. Rice, President & CEO of the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
Click here to read the Chattahoochee River Act.
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