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Mussels

The Altamaha River

Pollution

Watershed

Teachers Notes

Photo Gallery of Various Mussels

Mussels of the Altamaha River

The Altamaha River often called "Georgia's mightiest river", is truly one of Georgia's greatest natural resources. The Altamaha begins near Hazelhurst where the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers join. It flows 137 rniles through some of the South's last remaining hardwood bottomlands, cypress swamps, historic rice fields and tidal marshes to the coast near Darien, where it fans out in a wide delta.

Some Altamaha Facts

  • The Altamaha is the second largest river basin on the Atlantic Seaboard and drains more than 14,000 square miles (one quarter of Georgia's land surface) including half of Atlanta and all of Macon.

  • It pumps an average of 100,000 gallons of fresh water into the Atlantic every second, which is one-sixth of the freshwater input to the south Atlantic continental shelf.

  • More than 130 rare or endangered animals and plants inhabit the Altamaha River corridor including seven species of pearly mussels.

  • The Altamaha River corridor provides an irnportant stop for migratory birds.

  • The Altamaha is bordered by 10 Georgia counties: Appling, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Long, McIntosh, Montgomery, Tattnall, Toombs, Wayne, and Wheeler. Many ofthe over 181,000 residents of these counties are employed in the agricultural, commercial fishing, forestry, and tourism industries - all of which depend on a healthy river ecosystem

"Mussels of the Altamaha River" is a course designed to teach ecological relationships and habitat use patterns using the mussels of the Altamaha River to show the interdependence of species for reproduction, transportation, and food. Objectives include discussion of the interdependence of all life within a watershed.
Produced under a grant by Georgia DNR Non Game Wildlife Programs by the Glynn Environmental Coalition.

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