Sandy Springs, Georgia , June 13, 2015 – Two years of collaboration on water quality issues among Environment Sandy Springs, the City of Sandy Springs and the University of Georgia’s Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Lab has yielded a major new approach to cleaning up the impaired streams of Sandy Springs. The collaborative effort, which was initiated by Environment Sandy Springs, focuses on the use of satellite imagery and GIS software to strategically identify specific watersheds where water quality mitigation projects will yield the greatest impact on impaired streams and creeks. Most residents of Sandy Springs, Georgia’s 6th largest city, are unaware that many of the community’s streams are impaired and have been for many years, much like many in the metro region.

The city of Sandy Springs recently embraced this new approach to environmental modeling by funding a city-wide application of the technique to all of the city’s watersheds. The project which is being led by Dr. Elizabeth Kramer of the University of Georgia’s Spatial Analysis Lab is already in progress and should be completed sometime this summer.

“This is an important and exciting project on a number of levels,” said Bill Cleveland, President of Environment Sandy Springs – “First, it is scalable and the approach can be used to analyze a city or a region, which makes it ideal for water quality collaboration among cities. Second, it allows storm water planners to design projects that filter pollutants from storm water before the storm water is discharged into a creek or stream. Finally, this approach has the potential to be incorporated into planning systems that would allow land use planners to simulate the impact of different land use scenarios on the water quality of community steams and creeks.”

Cleveland will be sharing the clean water environmental modeling project at the upcoming June 23rd Sandy Springs Visioning Workshop on behalf of the Environmental Sandy Springs along with EES’s Sandy Springs Forest Initiative designed to sustain healthy natural resources. He will also touch on EES’s collaborative effort with the City of Sandy Springs to explore the feasibility of a Marsh Creek Greenway Trail east of Roswell Road. The Greenway Trail is based on a comprehensive concept created by landscape architect Mario Cambardella while at the University of Georgia.