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Georgia Wilderness Society
Ocmulgee River Cleanup

Each autumn, the Georgia Wilderness Society has a river clean up trip on our hometown river, the Ocmulgee.  A trip report by trip leader Foye Tinsley is at the bottom of the photos.  Scroll way down to see it.

These photos are from the August 2003 clean up trip and were taken by Tim Gunter!
The Georgia Wilderness Society completed another Ocmulgee River
Cleanup Trip on August 23, 2003. Members present were
Anne Hoyt, Judy Brown, Susan Barrett, John Kraus, Tim Gunter, Robby Gibbs,
Basil Youmans, and Leaders: Foye Tinsley and
John Wilson.

It was 89 degrees with a slight breeze making it a
delightful trip. The water clarity was not the best and the water
level was a couple of feet higher than we encountered in the past. We
succeeded in picking up the usual aluminum cans, metal
and plastic lawn chairs, tennis balls, inner tubes, plastic bags, rope,
broken glass, plastic drink bottles, styrofoam, corks, liners,
basketballs, cigarette lighters, trot lines, beer bottles, liners, writing
pens, Tupperware and sunscreen containers, softballs, fishing
line, a coffee pot stem, PVC pipe, and a tire. Among the unusual items
were a cowling from a 1960's Johnson outboard motor,
some unique driftwood, an old milk bottle from a local dairy, and a few
pieces of broken crockery.

John Kraus observed less wildlife sightings but we did see the
following: a 3' long freshwater gar, a 5lb shoal bass, some turtle
eggs recently disturbed by a raccoon, a white egret, a kingfisher in
flight, a blue bunting, a hawk, deer and tracks, and three turtles. Foye
heard an owl at the put in point, Anne and Judy saw a 3' long catfish jump
clear out of the water, & Anne heard some bluebirds near a resident's
house and John Wilson saw a sandpiper. Some of the paddlers located some
muscadines and enjoyed the taste of fresh fruit and others experience the sunshine while
drifting. Tim took digital pictures with his camera in a waterproof
housing while Robby used his recently acquired video camera to cover some
of the events of the day.

Robby later decided to fall out of a perfectly good boat, John Wilson
decided to try his hand at pushing a goat downstream,
and Foye tried his hand at skiing down a river sand slope to the water's
edge. There were no injuries except for the occasional blister, sunburn,
abrasion, & minor cuts.

Many thanks goes to Bud Queen for acquiring the "Rivers Alive"
T-shirts for all the participants. As most of you know Bud was
my co-leader for the cleanup trip until he hurt his leg with a chain saw.
John Wilson volunteered to take his place at the last minute. We would
like to thank John Wilson, our "Ocmulgee Riverkeeper" , for bringing the
powerboat to haul the bulky debris we collected, loaded, and
found on the river. This helped kayak paddlers, Susan Barrett and Basil
Youmans, keep their crafts trim so they could go after more floating
material. Tim Gunter had scouted the area the week before in a separate
trip and was a tremendous help in locating pockets of floating debris
during the trip and added extra muscle to break free some of the buried

Thanks goes to Anne Hoyt for helping me to figure mileage and do the reconnaissance for
the put in point and for Steve Hoyt for allowing the G.W.S. to put in at
the Riverbend Property Owners Association Boatramp. We would like to
thank the City of Macon Public Works Department for providing the dumpster
at the Greenway Heritage Trail boatramp at Spring Street. Without this dumpster,
we would have to haul off all of the debris that we find. We did not
salvage the volume of materials that we had removed in the past
from the Ocmulgee River due to the water level and clarity but we did
enjoy a leisurely paddle on the Ocmulgee River. The trip
was only 4.8 miles so we basically traveled only half the normal distance.
The trip lasted until 4 o'clock P.M. We gathered less than
500lbs. of debris but think how much cleaner the Ocmulgee River is due to
our efforts!