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Environmental Planning

Environmental Planning

lilly pads on the water at Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission environmental department consists of environmental planners who work to preserve the natural resources of South Georgia, with an emphasis on water resources. Staff collaborates with agencies such as the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, University of Georgia, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, GA Soil & Water Conservation Commission, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and several Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Councils to ensure the quality of our efforts and products.

Since 2002, the environmental program has successfully partnered on projects totaling several million dollars to the SGRC region for environmental projects. Some of these projects include the development of TMDL Implementation Plans, watershed assessments / evaluations, installation of BMPs, workshops, education outreach, and much more.

Several current or recent examples of water management studies in the SGRC region include Broxton Creek and Roses Creek in Coffee County, Pride Branch in Brooks County, and New River in Tift County.


Posting of helpful notifications from the EPA or GAEPD, new grant opportunities, projects, programs, training opportunities, or requests for input from the community, etc.

GAEPD Scrap Tire

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission will be offering an opportunity for city and county governments to remove and recycle scrap tires. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) announced the availability of funding from the state Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF) to local governments and solid waste authorities. The Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act covers the cost of transporting and processing scrap tires from areas where the property owner is either unknown, financially unable to clean up the tires, or a victim of illegal dumping.

Regional Watersheds...
In the State of Georgia there are 14 major river basins. The Southern Georgia Regional Commission region is located in five of those river basins:
• St. Mary's
• Ocmulgee
• Satilla
• Suwannee
• Ochlockonee
• Regional River Basin Map coming soon!


The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) is charged with addressing the various environmental issues that our rapidly growing state is facing. One of those issues is the health of our water bodies. In order to determine whether a water body is healthy or not, a total maximum daily load (TMDL) must be developed. As explained by Georgia EPD, “a TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a river, stream or lake can receive and still be safe and healthy.”

Every two years, the Georgia EPD releases what is known as the Georgia 305(b)/303(d) list, which identifies the streams that did not meet their water quality standards. The EPD’s draft 2018 List of Waters shows that of 2,616 water bodies within Georgia, 1,301 have been found not supporting of their designated use. Regional surface water quality has generally stayed the same or degraded over the last several years. See biennial water quality reports at: https://epd.georgia.gov/water-quality-georgia.

The good news is that there are actions individuals and organizations can do to improve our water quality. These include:

Providing tree cover and vegetative buffers along our water bodies;
Ensure septic systems are operating properly through regular inspections and pump outs;
Use garden and lawn care products as recommended;
Service your car regularly to prevent oil and antifreeze leaks; and
Only allow rain down the storm drains.

Waterway Plan

Coming soon!

The SGRC will provide documents and links that are beneficial to the SGRC cities and counties and the community for environmental purposes in the South GA region.

Watershed Management Plan

Put simply, a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) identifies water quality problems in your watershed, proposes solutions, and creates a strategy for putting those solutions in action. Watershed Management Plans take a long-term, comprehensive approach, which has proven to be successful in a number of watersheds.

City Drainage Canal Watershed Improvement Plan

Broxton/Roses Creek Watershed Management Plan

New River Watershed Management Plan

Pride Branch Watershed Management Plan

Two Mile Branch Water Management Plan

St. Marys River Water Management Plan

Withlacoochee Watershed Management Plan

Franks Creek TMDL Implementation Plan


Coming soon...
The SGRC will provide a list and links to maps that are beneficial to the SGRC and community used for environmental purposes in the South GA region.

Maps include:
• Southern Georgia web map

• Welstrom project map

• Regional Stream map



If you are interested in becoming QA/QC Certified or a Community Partner in the Southern Georgia region, please contact SGRC’s Environmental Project Manager Megan Parker by phone at 229-333-5277 or by email at mparker@sgrc.us for involvement or questions.