Where’s My Creek?
The Where’s My Creek? initiative seeks to inform and educate citizens about our sources of water. 100% of the water we drink comes from either the North or Middle Oconee Rivers*. These rivers join just South of Athens to form the Oconee River which in turn provides drinking water for downstream communities.
While most of our creeks join either the North or Middle Oconee downstream of our water intake facilities, the water that runs off our yards, streets, and parking lots affects people and wildlife. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has said that our creeks should be safe to use for recreation. Unfortunately, because of polluted runoff our creeks and segments of our rivers are not safe. Children and those with compromised immune systems should avoid the water. Even healthy adults should take precautions when entering the water. UOWN takes water samples from our creeks four times a year. While some streams have shown some signs of improvement most continue to decline.
Athens-Clarke County has 15 creeks, each of which form a watershed. Additionally, our two rivers form another two watersheds, given Athens a total of 17 watersheds.
Do you know the name of the creek in your backyard or neighborhood? Use this interactive map to identify your watershed (or download a printable version). Then click the creek name below to download an information sheet about your creek. If you visit our booth at one of our many events, stop by and pickup a free refrigerator magnet.
* the Bear Creek Reservoir is filled by pumping water from the Middle Oconee.
|Middle Oconee River
|North Oconee River
|Sulphur Springs Branch
Cassidy Lord, won second place among graduate students at UGA’s Capturing Science competition for the “clarity, attention to detail, and compassionate consideration to the emotional complexities of learners” embodied in the Where’s My Creek? campaign.
The judging committee noted that “Where’s My Creek? explicitly considers the feelings of residents, so that facts are portrayed in a way that both accurately reflect water degradation in the area without making the residents feel helpless to act. In fact, each snapshot offers manageable changes that individuals can make to be more environmentally responsible, such as picking up pet waste and reducing fertilizer application.