The Horsepen Creek Water improvements team received recognition as part of the Georgia Water Coalition’s Clean 13 report for 2023.
The Camden County Board of Commissioners received multiple Section 319 (h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grants to fund septic system remediation and water quality improvements for Horsepen Creek in an effort to reduce pollutants in the St. Marys River. In total, 44 failing septic systems were replaced and one (1) was repaired. Camden County and the Georgia Coastal Health District (Camden County Health Department) provided in-kind donations of time (over 3,000 hours) and materials to supplement the grant funding. The St. Marys Riverkeeper provided expertise to the project, water testing assistance, and nearly 900 volunteer hours. Additional partners include the St. Marys River Management Committee (providing over 1,000 volunteer hours), Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division, and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
As a result of the work of this partnership, testing demonstrates a 92% reduction in fecal bacteria levels in Horsepen Creek. Additionally, the St. Marys Riverkeeper recorded macroinvertebrates for the first time at a monitoring site. Macroinvertebrates are considered indicator species and are sensitive to poor water quality.
The 2023 Clean 13 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 full report (PDF) is available online.
The Camden County Board of Commissioners joined by representatives from the St. Marys Riverkeeper, and St. Marys River Management Committee. Other team members not pictured include Georgia Coastal Health District, GA EPD, and Carl Vinson Institute.