It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the waterways surrounding the University of Georgia aren’t the cleanest sight to see… seeing as though there is an old tire in the middle of Tanyard Creek right by one of the busiest and most popular places on campus: Sanford Stadium.
This doesn’t come as a shock since the college campus was built around these rivers and streams that we eventually built over with different buildings, roads and parking lots.
It’s rare to walk by the streams around campus without seeing trash, algae or even encountering a few rare smells coming from the water. This is because of pollution from human and even animal waste.
Luckily for us, and our nostrils, there are efforts throughout UGA to clean up our water and prevent it from getting worse. The answer to all of our prayers is a program called Watershed UGA. This program aims to improve water sustainability throughout campus through watersheds.
Watershed UGA started an initiative called “Daylighting Lilly Branch.” The goal for this project is to make people more aware of the underground waterways throughout campus because according to the Watershed UGA website, “If the majority of UGA’s streams are hidden beneath layers of pavement and buildings, how will anyone care about them?”
In Watershed’s most recent initiative to keep our water clean, they partnered with the Guide Dog Foundation here at UGA. Yes, this means puppies!!
Watershed UGA and the Guide Dog Foundation are encouraging people to sign a pledge to clean up after their pets when they use the restroom throughout the city to prevent the spread of dangerous bacterium through our waterways.
Cleaning up after our pets and ourselves isn’t just to keep our surroundings looking nice and clean. It also helps keep our water clean for all users, including animals. Otherwise, our fish and other water bound animals may end up looking like a scene out of Finding Nemo.
Here are Seven Ways You Can Help Keep the Water in Athens Clean:
1. Pick up after your pets
2.Trash goes in the garbage can, not on the ground.
3.Recycling is for cool people.
5.Use less chemicals in things like fertilizer
6.Participate in cleanups throughout Athens
7. Follow Watershed UGA on Twitter to keep up to speed on the initiatives and research going on around campus
There are many different ways in which you can do your part to #KeepAthensWaterClean, whether that means cleaning up after your pet, throwing away your trash properly, or even by not putting your flat tires in the water. Whichever way you decide to aid in cleaning up the water around campus, remember that all the trash, debris and waste has to run-off somewhere. So the next time you think about just leaving the droppings left behind by your beloved pup, or cat if you like walking your cat (no judgement here), remember to #ScoopThePoop and #KeepAthensWaterClean, otherwise you eventually might end up drinking it.
By Madison Beasley