Chattahoochee RiverWarden

Chattahoochee RiverWarden
A non-profit organization that uses science, education and advocacy for the protection and stewardship of the middle Chattahoochee River and its tributaries.
Click here to view the Chattahoochee RiverWarden brochure.

chattahoochee river in georgia

In the fall of 2009, about 30 citizens from Georgia and Alabama held a meeting to discuss forming a middle Chattahoochee River organization. A number of individuals worked as volunteers and, in 2010, Chattahoochee RiverWarden was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The mission of the organization is to use science, education, and advocacy for the protection and stewardship of the middle Chattahoochee River from West Point Lake to the Florida state line.

In five years, Chattahoochee RiverWarden has become an important part of the environmental community. Chattahoochee RiverWarden is a regional grassroots environmental/conservation organization, and is a member of American Rivers, River Network, Georgia Water Coalition, Georgia River Network, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, Alabama Water Watch, Alabama River Alliance and the Alabama Clean Water Partnership.

With the recent opening of the longest urban whitewater course in the world, now is the perfect time to educate our citizens about the river’s beauty, power and fragility—as well as their role in ensuring its ongoing health. Chattahoochee RiverWarden is recognized as a leader in environmental outreach, and we are poised to expand that role into an even greater part of the community. Chattahoochee RiverWarden strives to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy river basin, to foster a sense of environmental stewardship, and to encourage individuals to become advocates for clean water.

Chattahoochee RiverWarden provides an organized and unified voice for our waterway by bringing together people with different interests for a common purpose. Some of RiverWarden’s accomplishments and activities since our formation include:

  • Appointed Committee Chair of Help The Hooch, the largest river cleanup in the Southeast, 2013-2014.
  • Served as a Governing Board Member for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholder group and aided in the development of the Sustainable Water Management Plan, 2012-2015.
  • Original founders of the Spencer Environmental Lecture Series, which aims to educate the community in various environmental issues with events at no cost to those attending.
  • Held professional development workshop for Muscogee County School District teachers Project WET, Water Education for Teachers, which is an internationally recognized environmental education curriculum, June 2014.
  • Developed a partnership with Troy University’s Phenix City Campus to certify all of their student teachers in Project WET, 2013-2014.
  • Led workshops and events on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee for Educators Day on the River, June 2015.
  • Partnered with Auburn University and Alabama Clean Water Partnership on the Mill Creek and Holland Creek restoration project and worked with Mill Creek Partnership on creek cleanups twice each year, 2013-2014.
  • Participated and made comments on the Alabama Solid Waste Study that was conducted by Auburn University.
  • Provided comments to the USACE on the Water Control Manual for the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint River Basin.
  • Provided comments on the development of the Alabama State Water Plan.
  • Provided educational material on native plants and Hydrilla to the Lake Harding Association members to promote water quality improvement control measures.
  • Organized a stream cleanup for Columbus State University’s Day of Service, August 2013-2015.
  • Met with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to discuss water policy issues affecting the Middle Chattahoochee Valley and the river.
  • Commented on the Middle Chattahoochee Water Plan that was adopted by the State of Georgia. Currently participating in the three year update that is due in 2016.
  • Led a strong public campaign that helped defeat a proposed construction and demolition landfill in Russell County, Alabama on a site located less than a mile from the Chattahoochee River in porous soils with inadequate engineering designs and potential public health risks.
  • Started a water quality monitoring programing partnership with Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Alabama Water Watch, with volunteers and staff engaged in regular chemical and bacteria monitoring of 28 tributaries to the river. Numerous sanitary sewer leaks or connections to storm drains have been recently detected, reported to local utilities, and repaired.
  • Worked with the Lake Harding Homeowner’s Association to unify and better understand the ongoing hydro-power relicensing procedure with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Consulted with Georgia Power Company on potential environmental and recreational enhancements to Lake Harding during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing of Bartlett’s Ferry Dam.
  • Organized a rain barrel education and auction event as part of Artbeat of Columbus, March 2013.
  • Participated in several environmental fairs and educational programs including AFLAC Earth Day events, Columbus State University’s Sustainability Week Programs, and many others.
  • Provided internship opportunities for students in Columbus State University’s Masters of Public Administration and Masters of Environmental Science programs.
  • Invited regularly to speak at schools and civic organizations on water issues that affect the Chattahoochee Valley.
  • Maintained membership in the following organizations: Columbus GA Chamber of Commerce Environmental Committee, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center Advisory Board, Coalition for Sound Growth, Chattahoochee-Chipola Clean Water Partnership, Georgia River Network, Georgia Water Coalition, Alabama River Alliance, Alabama Department of Environmental Management Reform Coalition, Middle Chattahoochee Water Coalition, River Network and American Rivers.

Some of RiverWarden’s awards since our formation include:

  • WLTZ’s Community Green Award for dedication to watershed protection, 2011.
  • Non-Profit Watershed Organization of the Year by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, an outreach program of the Watershed Protection Branch within the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, 2012.
  • Received the Alabama Water Watch River Basin Award for our water monitoring efforts, 2013.
  • Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s Adopt-A-Stream’s New Trainer of the Year, 2013 – Jenn Collins, CRW’s previous Outreach and Education Coordinator.

Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission’s Edna D. Kendrick Award, 2015 – Roger Martin, CRW’s previous Executive Director

If you have a question or concern about the middle Chattahoochee River or its lakes, please contact Henry Jackson, Executive Director at 706-649-2326 or If we can’t help, we will put you in contact with the proper agency or person that can help you solve your problem.

Our office is located in the:
Spencer Environmental Center
1212 3rd Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Donations can be mailed to:
Chattahoochee RiverWarden
P. O. Box 985
Columbus, GA 31902

Chattahoochee RiverWarden is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.