St. Marys River Management Plan

View the St. Marys River Management Plan document.

St. Marys River Top 12 Priorities

  1. Establish consistent and adequate septic system setbacks on both Florida and Georgia sides of the river.
  2. Promote bank-to-bank legislation to unify recreation and wildlife management laws.
  3. Establish a St. Marys River library/information clearinghouse/database for use by the SMRMC, citizens and local governmental agencies.
  4. Monitor Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) programs in both states.
  5. Evaluate each County's land use pattern as reflected in their Comprehensive Plans and encourage consistency with river protection, using Best Management Practices (BMPs), and similar measures.
  6. Encourage proper maintenance of septic systems within the river corridor.
  7. Design shoreline guidelines/incentives e.g. river corridor, vegetative buffers, and setbacks.
  8. Promote conservation easements and/or less-than-fee acquisitions that maintain a forest-based economy and protect river resources by continuing compatible agricultural uses, such as tree farming.
  9. Continue and expand annual river cleanups.
  10. Continue and expand publications programs: River Guide, POSM newsletter, and website.
  11. Integrate the St. Marys River management plan into other natural resource management plans, comprehensive plans, and conservation programs on an on-going basis.
  12. Hire cost-effective Committee administrative assistance to enhance effectiveness and communication - emphasize outsourcing.

St. Marys River Planning Effort Guiding Principles

The Vision: To protect the scenic beauty and ecological health of the St. Marys River watershed for the benefit of present and future generations. This can be accomplished through coordinated local action that involves the full spectrum of the basin’s citizens and through increased public education efforts that foster greater awareness, appreciation and stewardship of the basin’s resources.

The Guiding Principles:

  • Plan for the St. Marys River Management Committee and local government leaders to manage the river over the next ten to fifteen years.
  • Strongly emphasize maintaining the serenity, solitude, and pristine beauty of the river.
  • Plan for the watershed in both Georgia and Florida, with primary focus on the river corridor and secondary focus on the river basin.
  • Involve and inform local government leaders, the St. Marys River Management Committee, and the public.
  • Use cost-effective, creative, scientifically sound strategies to meet goals.
  • Use incentives and voluntary cooperation to accomplish conservation goals.
  • Emphasize public education and awareness.
  • Develop consistent river protection standards across boundaries and emphasize inter-governmental coordination.