SGSC Students Assist Satilla Riverkeeper With Rivers Alive Cleanup
By: Amy Hancock
External Affairs Coordinator
South Georgia State College (SGSC) students volunteered with the Satilla Riverkeeper and friends at a watershed wide Rivers Alive Satilla River Cleanup on Nov. 14. The SGSC groups adopted the creek areas on the west side of Douglas, Ga. along the walking path through the city. The groups worked with Kevin Davis, project manager for the company that manages the city’s water treatment plant. The plant provided a dumpster for the students, and they disposed of what they were able to pick up.
This event was conducted to help remedy the chronic trash problems on the Satilla River – particularly at popular river access locations – that negatively impact the river’s water quality, wildlife, fishes and the public’s recreational experience on the water.
Bobbi Hancock, instructor of sociology at SGSC, feels this is an excellent opportunity to go beyond the classroom walls and have a different type of pedagogy through a service learning project. Hancock said, “This is a very valuable experience. Students are actually able to see how social change is made. They can actually BE THE CHANGE, which is what much of sociology is about. I think it's awesome that we can gather our students together for a common cause, and I look forward to continuing this tradition.”
The cleanup was in partnership with Rivers Alive, Georgia's annual volunteer waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the State including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands, while creating awareness and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. Community partners for this event included the Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division, Rivers Alive Program and Coastal Resources Division, ESG Operations Inc., Advanced Disposal, Republic Services, Satilla River Water Trail partnership, Carter Environmental, Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, SGSC, College of Coastal Georgia Biology Club, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and the Friends of the Satilla River.
SGSC Assistant Professor of Biology Heather Cason Carver had also expressed an interest in having her environmental biology students participate in the event and was pleased with the amount of student volunteers. Carver said, “It was wonderful to work alongside SGSC students at the Satilla Riverkeeper cleanup. This event provided an invaluable opportunity for our students to make a positive environmental impact in their very own community. Keeping our waterways clean ensures a healthy environment for all organisms, including us.”
South Georgia State College and the Satilla Riverkeeper established an educational partnership in 2014 and created the Satilla Riverkeeper and South Georgia State College Education and Training Alliance. Events such as the waterway cleanup are ways the partnership connects students with learning and awareness opportunities. It gives access to ecological sites in this part of the State in order to engage students in being stewards of their communities and waterways.
For more information about how volunteers can get involved with the Satilla Riverkeeper, please contact Mary Freund at email@example.com or 912-510-9500. The Satilla Riverkeeper is a 501(c)3 organization established in 2004 whose mission it is to protect, restore and educate about the unique and beautiful blackwater Satilla River.
TOP PHOTO: Volunteers gathered for a group picture following the Rivers Alive Satilla River Cleanup on Nov. 14.
BOTTOM PHOTO: (L-R): SGSC Assistant Professor of Biology Heather Cason Carver, SGSC Instructor of Sociology Bobbi Hancock and Kevin Davis.