Ebenezer Creek is a beautiful blackwater tributary of the Savannah River in Effingham County, Georgia, about 20 miles north of the City of Savannah. A nationally recognized Scenic River, it is one of only four designated in the state of Georgia and is a precious natural resource to coastal Georgia citizens and visitors alike. People flock from hundreds of miles away to float down its majestic waters and learn about the creek’s rich history — making Ebenezer Creek a cultural treasure and an economic driver in the community.
Protecting Our Black-Water Wonderland
Ebenezer Creek is a cultural treasure and an economic driver in the community.
One Hundred Miles is working with community members and elected officials to ensure the history and ecology of Ebenezer are protected forever.
OHM has partnered with the University of Georgia to investigate the best land use practices and management options to protect Ebenezer Creek. Through proper management, Effingham County and the City of Springfield where most of the watershed lies, can adopt a shared agenda to preserve the ecology and history of the creek and encourage the right kind of growth. In Summer 2019, the findings of the investigation were presented to a steering committee of community leaders from Effingham and Springfield and will be finalized into a report that will be available soon.
DRT America (DRTA), a privately held French company that specializes in distilling rosin and turpentine, operates an industrial plant in the Effingham Co. Industrial district, near Ebenezer Creek. The company applied for a permit to pipe treated wastewater into the Springfield sewage treatment facility. Residents and visitors feared the negative effect that pollution from turpentine and other unknown chemicals could have on Ebenezer Creek and neighboring tributaries. Thanks to the public’s opposition and the City Council’s leadership, DRTA’s permit was denied and Ebenezer Creek was saved from its unhealthy pollution. It is unclear what DRTA plans to do with the wastewater long-term. For now OHM, Savannah Riverkeeper and others are watching the process to ensure the community and the creek are protected from industrial waste.
What You Can Do
- In the next year, Effingham County will update its comprehensive plan. This “comp plan” is used to guide land use development in the county and has the potential to prioritize the conservation of Ebenezer Creek’s rich history. The process requires that drafts of the comp plan be reviewed by the public. In the next few months, all members of the public (community members and visitors) will be invited to review the draft comprehensive plan and offer comments/recommendations. OHM is happy to engage in this public process and offer our agenda and recommendations to the county. Planning process.
- Paddle the creek. No better way to experience the magic of Ebenezer than by paddling the blackwater among the tupelo and gum trees (see resources below)
- Visit the Salzburger Museum or the Springfield History museum located in the old jail.
- In 2017 the City of Springfield Council voted unanimously against a permitto accept harmful industrial wastewater into the community. OHM appreciates all the citizens, Friends of Ebenezer Creek, and partners who contacted council members, told a friend, and stood up for our blackwater wonderland. Read OHM’s full comment letter and position here.
- Springfield Ebenezer Greenway is an excellent resource to guide paddlers through the history and ecology of the creek.
- Tragedy at Ebenezer Creek
- Original settlement and the Salzburgers
- Ebenezer Creek Outfitters: