Those aiming to protect the Broad River would like to see improved access to the waterway. Meanwhile, they seek to promote the river as a tourism destination. And they’d like county commissioners to be on board with the effort.
Victor Johnson of the Broad River Watershed Association appeared before the board of commissioners (BOC) Aug. 26, offering a Power Point presentation on the importance of Georgia rivers and the efforts made to preserve them.
He said the BRWA is pushing for a “Broad River Water Trail” — basically the equivalent of a hiking trail. It will include improved access points along the river, better parking and informational kiosks about river safety and preservation. He noted that rivers are a tremendous source of tourism dollars in the state, adding that improved access could lead to more local business dollars. He also said that the more people enjoy the river, the more inclined they are to protect it.
“Recreation on the river can help teach people to respect it,” said Johnson.
BOC chairman Anthony Dove said he hears complaints about people on the river who litter, who fail to respect private property and who drink and create public safety issues that local emergency workers must respond to.
Johnson said the BRWA certainly doesn’t encourage anyone to drink on the river. He said more access points will help keep people off private property and said part of the effort is to improve public awareness of the harm in littering.
“We do want people to be more informed about not trashing their river,” he said.
Johnson said a water trail with improved access — with entry points every five or six miles — could help bring a more family-oriented crowd to the river for recreation.
Johnson said the BRWA will make presentations to leaders in other counties the Broad River traverses and come back before the BOC for further discussions later.