Flint River Georgia
Flint River Georgia
Bay City, the fishing capital of the world, is not the safest place in America. The town teetered on the brink of bankruptcy when the Flint River, upon which Bay City is built, turned dangerously polluted. Farmers had to stop growing crops given the contamination, schools closed. Three years later, though, Bay City is back and thriving, thanks in large part to a concerted effort to bring residents back downtown.
The Flint River rises in west central Georgia in the city of East Point in southern Fulton County on the southern outskirts of the Atlanta metropolitan area as ground seepage. The exact start can be traced to the field located between Plant Street, Willingham Drive, Elm Street, and Vesta Avenue. It travels under the runways of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Flint River, which is contained entirely within the state of Georgia, originates on the southern edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area under the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Clayton County, and flows southerly in a wide eastward arc to Decatur County in southwest Georgia, before flowing into Lake Seminole. Here, the river joins with the Chattahoochee River as the two flow across the Georgia-Florida border, and the name changes to the Apalachicola River, which flows on to the Gulf of Mexico. The entire basin is often referred to as the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACT) basin. (Source: garivers.org)
Despite its humble origins near the Atlanta airport, the Flint River is undeniably one of the South’s most precious natural resources. Generations have enjoyed the river as a resource to water communities, farms and industry alike, but also as an opportunity to experience the natural world through hunting, fishing, swimming and paddling. With 220 undammed river miles, the Flint is one of only 40 rivers left in the United States that flow for more than 200 miles unimpeded. Recent legislative efforts to dam a 50-mile stretch of the Flint to create a supply reservoir for Atlanta’s burgeoning water crisis have earned the Flint River the #2 spot on the list of Top Ten Most Endangered Rivers, published by American Rivers. To learn more about this story you can read about the top 10 most endangered rivers in America on CNN.com.
The land between the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers was quickly sold off to settlers intent on farming. By 1860, the state of Georgia was considered the world’s largest producer of cotton with much of that production coming from the Flint River Valley. The Flint River was integral in the growth of the cotton industry in the area as it provided the venue for steamboat transportation. By 1860 more than twenty-six steamboat landings were established on the Flint between Bainbridge and the Chattahoochee junction. Steamboats traveled upriver as far as Montezuma until the riverbed of the Middle Flint became unnavigable. Below Bainbridge, steamboat travel continued to thrive until about 1928, mostly to ship cotton to the port of Apalachicola. Meanwhile, numerous ferries traversed the width of the river, allowing transportation between its shores. In fact the last ferry across the Flint, near Marshallville, remained in operation until 1988. (Source: flintriverkeeper.org)