West Point Lake, a U.S. Army Corp of Engineers reservoir, is a focus for this part of the middle section of the Chattahoochee watershed. The lake extends 35 miles along the Chattahoochee River just north of West Point, Ga. It has a shoreline of more than 500 miles and is surrounded by forest and fields that provide excellent fishing, bird watching and camping opportunities. With nearly 26,000 acres of water surface, there is plenty of room for water sports, with boat ramps and two marinas to serve visitors. Impounded in 1974, the project provides water storage for navigation on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint waterway. It was the first lake in the United States to be designated for recreation and serves as a major draw for tourists.
Further past the West Point Dam, small dams still remain in this area and are in service to support industrial needs for power generation. They provide beautiful scenery and the water quality is good to provide miles of quiet paddling.
In September 2011, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper opened an office on LaGrange’s LaFayette Square to reflect our commitment to protect the entire Chattahoochee River watershed. We have more than 150 members in Troup, Heard, Harris and Chambers counties, and plan to surpass the 200-member mark by the end of 2013. We are proud to have achieved measurable results through education, monitoring and recreational events, in addition to ongoing legal and policy work.
Since we opened our office in LaGrange, we have advocated for more protective water quality standards in West Point Lake and worked with the city of LaGrange and the West Point Lake Coalition. We want to ensure that excess nutrients and algal blooms never again threaten the lake’s health and property values, as they did in the late 1980s until CRK worked with local partners to successfully sue the city of Atlanta under the Clean Water Act in the 1990s.
In the West Point Lake region and throughout the watershed, CRK staff and volunteers protect our river with a number of activities: undergoing water quality monitoring and training, assisting local governments with best practices and policies, and hosting trash cleanups, rain barrel workshops, canoe/kayak trips and educational outreach at local schools and civic groups. We also take enforcement actions when necessary to stop polluters from harming waterways that are so important for our families and economic prosperity.
We have educated more than 1,500 community members on the critical issues facing water resources today and how they can make a difference in water management for future generations — including local civic groups, students, elected officials and business leaders.
As part of our commitment to the area, we have led a new water-quality monitoring program and trained 20 new Adopt-A-Stream volunteers who will regularly monitor Long Cane Creek at three sites.
We will bring our popular Wild & Scenic Film Festival in time to celebrate Earth Month south for a second showing in LaGrange, on April 23 at Carmike Cinemas. (Check out the programming here.) For reservations and tickets, contact email Jill Sistino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also will host our Second Annual Clean Water Festival on June 1 on West Point Lake. This event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to the public, celebrates the efforts of CRK and our area partners to promote continued protection of the lake. It’s also a chance to promote such key CRK initiatives as our floating classroom on Lake Lanier, Rain Barrel Workshops to teach rainwater harvesting, our Tapped Out presentation on our water crisis, and our Get the Dirt Out program that ensures storm buffer protection.
Check out our continually updated Calendar for more info!
- Volunteer for a CRK event and/or come paddle the river with us.
- Involve your friends, family and colleagues in our programs through membership
- Support our advocacy and education programs and make a donation
- Sign up for our bimonthly eblast for updates on this and all of CRK’s work
Jill Sistino, Regional Outreach Manager
35 South LaFayette Square, LaGrange GA 30240-3243