We do our best to speak for the creek, advocating for sound development and restorative actions whenever possible.
Gills Creek Greenway A Penny Project: A working group in the Gills Creek Watershed Association developed an aspirational plan to improve the urban area from Ft Jackson Blvd to Rosewood and to preserve the other relatively undeveloped stretches of Gills Creek from the Lake Katharine dam to Shop Road as a greenway (walking trail) and a blueway (aquatic trail.) The penny transportation tax has made that plan a possibility, and GCWA closely monitors actions by the County, the City, and the Penny Tax Advisory Committee. GCWA has conducted numerous tours of the prospective Greenway path, helping to educate elected officials and other decision-makers. For more information about greenways, successful greenway projects in other areas, and past activities related to development of the Gills Creek Greenway, see Greenway Archives.
Intervention: Often, an outside entity can facilitate a better result when development decisions are being made. GCWA has worked with developers and government entities in a number of cases to improve outcomes. Examples include design and construction of Little Jackson Creek Elementary School, on the banks of the waterway, and a very creative mitigation project that improved Jackson Creek in the upper watershed in exchange for construction damage at a point lower in the watershed. See Restore, projects archive for details.
Local Government: Since its inception, GCWA has worked very closely with local governments, coordinating educational messages, supporting staff, and monitoring government actions. We also assist members of the community in finding the right contacts within local government. See Be Eyes and Ears in the Watershed for more details.
Legislation: Occasionally bills that could have a deleterious impact on the watershed are introduced in the state legislature, prompting GCWA to join with other advocates to improve or defeat the bills. A recent example is the “dam safety bill” which actually removes a large percentage of the state’s dams from regulatory oversight. This year, GCWA mentored a group of students through the Conservation Coalition’s Lobby Day, helping them to speak to their legislators about dam safety and plastic bag ban bills.
Dam Safety Bill - The Dam Safety bill would exempt two thirds of the current dams under State regulation and weaken dam safety across the state. Click the link to read the bill in its entirety.
Plastic Bill - One of the most common items of litter in the creek are plastic bags. Recently, Arcadia Lakes passed a law banning the use of single use plastics throughout the town. This bill would not allow for home rule, or the ability for towns and cities to regulate themselves surrounding this issue. Please click on the link to read the bill in its entirety.