The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

Dive into Chattahoochee’s legacy at Cartersville with Sally Bethea

The Green Highlands club recently hosted a book reading and discussion featuring Sally Bethea. In addition to being a writer, Bethea is also the Director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers and a former Georgia Tech educator with over 30 years of experience in environmental matters.

The “Keeping Watch Over Our Waters” event took place on Jan. 18 in the Cartersville library. Organizers provided snacks and beverages for those in attendance, creating a casual opportunity for students to connect on campus while exploring essential topics such as the importance of proactive environmental stewardship and community involvement.

Bethea discussed rivers’ numerous roles, explaining their ecological importance and critical function in supporting our communities. She demonstrated that rivers provide drinking water, a safe habitat for wildlife, an essential means of transportation and even an energy source.

Her deep understanding of the challenges facing our water systems today was evident as she discussed the importance of sustainable practices and responsible governance, stressing the need for regulations and citing the critical role of the Clean Water Act in ensuring that wastewater meets specific standards before entering rivers.

Author Sally Bethea is pictured holding her book Keeping the Chattahoochee: Reviving and Defending a Great Southern River.

“My goal is to communicate, tell the story and tell the history of how we got to where we are today,” Bethea said. “If we’re not careful, everything we do on the land can impact our waterways, so knowing how rivers work is important.”

The event concluded with an interactive Q&A session, during which Bethea generously shared her experiences and insights, encouraging students and faculty to be proactive in environmental conservation.

One thought-provoking question from a student about individual actions to protect local waterways led Bethea to share practical advice and emphasize the importance of community-driven initiatives.

Bethea emphasizes that safeguarding rivers involves utilizing science, data, legal mechanisms, community support and media. The essential factor in this effort is persistence.

“When I wrote my book, Keeping the Chattahoochee: Reviving and Defending a Great Southern River, I hoped it would inspire young people to learn more about our environment and find ways to help safeguard all life on the planet,” Bethea said. “I was so pleased with the questions and comments from GHC students; they and others will help lead us to a more sustainable future.”

For students interested in the Chattahoochee and conservation efforts, Betha encouraged them to check out a documentary releasing on January 31, Saving the Chattahoochee: The Story of the Women Who Defended the River.

Abigail Henderson
Students are pictured in the Cartersville campus library listening to the event speaker, Sally Bethea.
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About the Contributor
Abigail Henderson, Features Editor
Political science major, Abigail Henderson, is a steadfast, conscientious individual. She intends to strive towards the pursuit of justice as an attorney and looks forward to enacting social change within the realm of politics. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog Finley in her free time.

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