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Restoring the South River

The projects and work of SRWA is intended to restore and protect the South River for wildlife to thrive and people to enjoy.

Restoration is the return of a degraded ecosystem to a close approximation of its remaining natural potential (U.S. EPA).

Urban areas are where most people live and where waterways like the South River are most threatened. Restoration of the South River depends on actively engaging individuals and communities through projects that raise awareness, educate, and connect people to the river.

Browse this website to learn more about SRWA’s river restoration projects and how you can help.  


South River Water Trail

Achieving the water trail designation for the South River will help to secure the river’s future. The process of planning, building, and maintaining the South River Water Trail (SRWT) will require a community-wide effort. The water trail will provide access to the river, connect communities up and down the river to each other, unlock the river’s economic potential, and accentuate the river’s status as a valuable natural amenity

The SRWT is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and once completed will become a recreational and educational destination. With access to canoe/kayak launches, greenspaces, parks, and other public amenities, the SRWT will connect outdoor enthusiasts to the river's wildlife, ecology, history, and geology as well as downstream neighbors. Read more about the SRWT

Rivercane - Nature’s Amazing Green Infrastructure
A major project of SRWA is the reintroduction of rivercane to the South River corridor and tributaries. This home-grown vegetation is one of nature’s most effective green infrastructures but it is severely threatened by the loss of habitat and invasive Chinese privet. The only bamboo that is native to the U.S. and southeast, rivercane can dramatically improve water quality, slow stormwater runoff, and provide critical habitat for wildlife. Read more about rivercane.
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 Discovering the South River: Land/Water Stewardship Camp

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Water Trail

A water trail, also sometimes referred to as a blueway, is a river, lake, or coastline that provides recreational, education and/or scenic experiences. The ultimate goal of achieving water trail designation for South River is to connect more people to the river in their backyards, and to inspire stewardship and protection of the river.

Consent Decree

The DeKalb County consent decree requires that the county eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. For this reason, the decree is south DeKalb's best chance for a cleaner South River, but only if it outlines a specific plan for how DeKalb County will reduce sewage pollution from fats, oils, and grease. Currently, such a plan does not exist. More consent decree here.

Fats, Oils, & Grease

The greatest threat to water quality in DeKalb County comes from sanitary sewage overflows caused by fats, oils, and grease blockages. These blockages are responsible for millions of gallons of sewage pollution in South River. Correct disposal of fats, oils, and grease is essential to addressing this crisis. Learn more here.

© 2016 South River Watershed Alliance
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PO Box 1341 | Decatur, Georgia 30031
404.285.3756(p) | 678.974.7927(f) |