Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a group of eight 10th graders down the Chattahoochee. We spent the morning cleaning along the river bed where we found items including embroidered suitcases, motorized cars, and Smirnoff Ice bottles discarded. That afternoon, we put on the orange life jackets and got in our raft. Considering my last rafting trip was down 12 foot waterfalls on The Nile, the only danger I faced were the teenagers who wanted to push me overboard. And they did…along with hitting me in the back of the head with a football. But what a river system!
-The US has 3.5 million miles of river, and the Chattahoochee is 436 of those.
-Chattahoochee is an Indian (Native American, for clarification) that means “river of painted rocks”. Our raft got stuck on many of those painted rocks.
-Once our Hoochie flows to our Southern neighbors of Florida, the name changes to Apalachicola. In the Indian language, that means “gators wear jean shorts”
-The upper Chattahoochee basin provides metro Atlanta with 70% of our drinking water. The upper basin does not include what runs around 285.-To follow that, 250 million gallons of sewage water are dumped into Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee each day.
-Along the river, one can see several species of birds, turtles, and the Virginia Opossum. I don’t know if that is the same kind of opossum we find along the street.
-Where is the southern most point to find trout? Yes, that is right, the Chattahoochee.
-E. coli is not just at White Water. The count at Paces Ferry is 938 (much higher than a few miles north where it is 699). If you don’t know Atlanta, Paces Ferry is the local rafting spot. Good thing the ferocious rapids didn’t knock any water in my mouth.
-My favorite river that is beastly, The Nile, is over 4,000 miles long. It is also awesome
-The Nile has a rapid called the G-Spot, but they just dried it up.
Now that you know these facts, start taking care of your local water systems since it is also your local source of fresh water.