Hybrid | Keeping the Chattahoochee: Sally Bethea in conversation with Hartwell Carson

Image shows a photo of author Sally Bethea and the cover of the book Keeping the Chattahoochee

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Sally Sierer Bethea was one of the first women in America to become a “riverkeeper”—a vocal defender of a specific waterway who holds polluters accountable. In Keeping the Chattahoochee, she tells stories that range from joyous and funny to frustrating—even alarming—to illustrate what it takes to save an endangered river. Her tales are triggered by the regular walks she takes through a forest to the Chattahoochee over the course of a year, finding solace and kinship in nature.

For two decades, Bethea worked to restore the neglected Chattahoochee, which provides drinking water and recreation to millions of people, habitat for wildlife, and water for industries and farms as it cuts through the heart of the Deep South. Pairing natural and political history with reflective writing, she draws readers into her watershed and her memories. Bethea’s passion for the natural world—and for defending it with a strong, informed voice animates this instructive memoir. Offering lessons on how to fight for our fundamental right to clean water, Bethea and her colleagues take on powerful corporate and government polluters. They strengthen environmental policies and educate children, reviving the great river from a century of misuse.

Sally Sierer Bethea is the retired founding director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. She served as executive director and riverkeeper for two decades and continues to assist Chattahoochee Riverkeeper as a senior advisor. Bethea also publishes a monthly column,"Above the Waterline," in Atlanta Intown. She lives and writes in midtown Atlanta.

Hartwell Carson has worked to protect the French Broad River for the past 11 years. He was the first responder to Asheville’s coal ash pollution, working to protect the French Broad River and the nearby community by forcing Duke Energy to clean up and close down Asheville’s coal-burning power plant. Hartwell also implemented his idea for the French Broad River Paddle Trail by building new campsites and access points, which now link over 140 miles of the French Broad River.
In his time as the French Broad Riverkeeper, Hartwell has also published a paddle trail map, book, app, and online guide, trained hundreds of volunteers to monitor and report sediment pollution, created MountainTrue’s Swim Guide Program to spread awareness of and clean up bacteria pollution, repaired over 10 miles of failing dirt roads along trout streams, initiated the cleanup of several polluting dairy farms, implemented over two miles of stream restoration projects, and ensured regulations are adequate and enforced to meet the Clean Water Act’s goal of making all waters fishable and swimmable. Learn more at https://mountaintrue.org/hartwell-carson/

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Keeping the Chattahoochee: Reviving and Defending a Great Southern River By Sally Sierer Bethea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820364322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wormsloe Foundation Nature Books - July 15th, 2023

SKU: x672389