Stewardship Exchange Team Report, Little Tallapoosa Watershed (GA)

CARROLL COUNTY, 5/1/2003 — A team of land use and water management experts today released a report made possible in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that recommends Carroll County and the cities of Carrollton and Villa Rica take key steps to ensure that their supply of drinking water remains ample and clean.

Entitled, “Upper Little Tallapoosa Watershed: Source Water Stewardship Exchange Team Report,” the study makes a number of recommendations in areas relating to land protection, restoration, and wastewater management. They include calls to:

  • identify top priorities for voluntary purchase or conservation easements to protect land in key areas of the watershed
  • find substantial and reliable funding from federal, state and/or local sources to acquire and improve management of high-priority land throughout the watershed
  • improve management of the county’s wastewater

Stewardship Exchange Team Report

“While many fast-growing counties throughout the country are facing the same water quality issues, Carroll County has had the foresight to address these challenges,” says Dave Kuechenmeister, a TPL-Georgia project manager who has been working to help the greater Carroll County community develop plans to further safeguard its drinking water supply. “The county’s political, business and civic leadership wanted a plan to help the county protect its drinking water supply so that it could continue to grow in an economically viable and environmentally sound manner — and this new report now provides a plan to help guide them to the kind of Carroll County they want for the future.”

The report is the result of January’s Source Water Stewardship Exchange held in Carrollton, where the county government, TPL, Carroll Tomorrow, and other local participants invited a five-member team of volunteer experts from around the country to address key concerns pertaining to the long-term viability of the Upper Little Tallapoosa River watershed.

The exchange is part of an 18-month program and investigation of the watershed being funded by a grant from the EPA to TPL, which is using the funds to work in four demonstration watersheds around the country.

Says Carroll County Commission Chairman Robert Barr, “We are fortunate that the Trust for Public Land agreed to assemble this team as a way of focusing our efforts to tackle the development and drinking water supply challenges that so many fast-growing counties like ours are facing. This Source Water Stewardship Exchange initiative comes at very little cost to the county thanks to the EPA grant TPL obtained, yet the knowledge we’ve gained is priceless.”

About the Team: The Exchange Team consisted of Michael Hines, a waste water treatment consultant; Ed Hoxsie, Executive Director, Dutchess County, NY Soil and Water Conservation District; Gary Lamont, Project Coordinator, New York City Watershed Agricultural Program, NRCS; Barry Tonning, Associate Director, Tetra Tech, Inc., and; Matt Zieper, Research Director, The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance Program.

About TPL: Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate — applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Across the nation, TPL has saved more than 1.4 million acres of land. In Georgia, TPL has helped protect land throughout the state – including nearly 70 miles along the Chattahoochee River. It has also conserved land on Georgia’s coast and rivers, and in urban centers.