In September, the Georgia Water Coalition, the state’s leading water protection coalition, released its third annual Clean 13 Report. The report highlights individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies whose extraordinary efforts have led to cleaner rivers, stronger communities and a more sustainable future for Georgians. The entities recognized in this report were supposed to be honored in March at the Mason Fine Art Center in Atlanta, but that was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Last week, the Georgia Water Coalition released the celebratory video for Amerson River Park’s award, and it can be viewed by clicking here.

Amerson River Park was nominated by Georgia Women (And Those Who Stand With Us) and selected by a statewide committee. It was included in this year’s Report for transforming “the region’s relationship with the river. Now, local residents and visitors alike flock to the river for tubing, canoeing and kayaking. The park’s success has spawned further investments in river access and supported the development of the Ocmulgee River Water Trail,” the Coalition wrote in its press release.

“Amerson River Park has been a true collaboration of many people and organizations over the years to be a major component in miles of both walking and water trails,” says Georgia Women President Claire Cox. “More people and neighborhoods connected to the Ocmulgee River means more people are taking care of it and keeping it clean. The River is for everyone, and Amerson River Park is providing the access for people that both want to enjoy it and keep it clean.”

“This is very exciting news for our river and trail system, and another recognition for people around the state and country to see what our government and community can do when we work together,” says Macon-Bibb County District 2 Commissioner Larry Schlesinger. ‘Amerson River Park has earned several such recognitions, but this one is especially important because it recognizes the Park’s impact on the river and the surrounding communities.”

“I’m delighted to see our community continue to be recognized for improving the quality of life by providing a place for all people to enjoy, and to provide people access to the Ocmulgee River,” says Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert. “More and more, people are recognizing what an asset the river is to our lives and our lifestyles, and I look forward to when we have all the trail portions connected. When that happens, you’ll be able to park at Amerson River Park, and bike, walk, or boat for miles all the way to the Ocmulgee National Historical Monument.”

“Georgia is faced with many water challenges involving problems that affect the health of our rivers and the availability of clean water for us and wildlife,” said Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman, executive director with the Rome-based Coosa River Basin Initiative. “Those recognized in the Clean 13 report are on the front lines of meeting those challenges. From innovative wastewater treatment projects to important clean water education efforts, these entities are developing solutions to these challenges.”

The Georgia Water Coalition is a consortium of more than 260 conservation and environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, businesses, and faith-based organizations that have been working to protect Georgia’s water since 2002. Collectively, these organizations represent thousands of Georgians. It publishes the Clean 13 Report not only to recognize these positive efforts on behalf of Georgia’s water but also as a call to action for our state’s leaders and citizens to review these success stories, borrow from them and emulate them.