Tifton Gazette

Opinion

January 10, 2013

Your Opinion: Water issues affect everyone

Recently the Georgia Water Coalition identi- fied twelve rivers in their Dirty Dozen 2012 Report as a call to ac- tion http://www.garivers.or g/gawater/dirtydozen.h tm . Governor Deal’s re- sponse, to basically blow off the report as coming from a bunch of Liberals, was both inap- propriate and diver- sionary. Please read the Dirty Dozen Report and then call the Governor, your State Reps, and Senators and demand action on each of the items listed in this re- port.

Water Issues are not liberal or conservative; they are common sense issues that affect us all. They are legacy issues for our kids and grand- kids. The GA Water Coalition (http://www.garivers.or g/gawater/partners.ht ml ) is made up of more than 180 organizations and over a quarter of a million Georgians who support efforts asking our leaders to make re- sponsible decisions about how to best pro- tect our water. This in- cludes farmers, home- owner and lake associa- tions, business owners, sportsmen’s clubs, con- servation organiza- tions, professional asso- ciations, and religious groups--    that is conser- vation as in the origi- nal meaning of conser- vative. I bet the first one on the list, Abra- ham Baldwin Agricul- tural College Forestry & Wildlife Club, would be surprised to know Governor Deal consid- ers them a liberal or-

ganization. In dismissing the

Dirty Dozen Report, Governor Deal seeks to divert attention from his weak record of stewardship of natural resources in the state. We have seen 10 years now in GA where EPD budgets have been cut in half. Underfunding makes the EPD inca- pable of enforcing regu- lations adequately and vulnerable to excessive influence by corpora- tions. Citizen action by organizations is critical to take up some of the shortfall of monitoring environmental con- cerns and raising pub- lic awareness.

I am a Board Member of WWALS Watershed Coalition and anyone interested can join our WWALS Facebook page and check out our web site at www.wwals.net . WWALS is an organiza- tion working for water- shed conservation of the Willacoochee, With- lacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems in South Georgia through awareness, environmen- tal monitoring, and citi- zen advocacy. I invite all those seriously in- terested in conserving our watersheds, no mat- ter what “label” you at- tach to yourself, if any, to join our organiza- tion. Please feel free to contact me at Gar- ryL44@aol.com for in- formation on the place and time of our next meeting.

Regards,

Garry L. Gentry

Tifton WWALS Watershed Coalition

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