Press Release - For Immediate Release
Charlton County: Boy Scout, Leven Bufkin, led the efforts to design and construct the new informational kiosk at Burnt Fort public boat landing on the Satilla River in Charlton County as his Eagle Scout Project.
The kiosk includes a map of the Satilla River Water Trail which provides information to help access and navigate the river safely and easily. The mission of the Satilla River Water Trail is to encourage residents and visitors to celebrate the historic, scenic and environmental richness of the Satilla River with a primary objective to introduce individuals to the Satilla River, particularly those who do not know of access locations and appropriate water conditions, by promoting a safe and positive experience on the river. The Satilla River Water Trail also serves to educate about the importance of the Satilla River waters and its associated wildlife. This program works to promote a sense of river appreciation, stewardship, responsibility, and interest in protecting this river for future generations.
The kiosk also includes a panel that identifies key wildlife species to look for while out on the river and information about each species. Highlighted wildlife species include several Georgia Wildlife Action Plan priority species including the Swallow-tailed Kite, Little Blue Heron, Tri-colored Heron, manatee, Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon, American Shad, Gopher Tortoise, along with other native species that can be seen when accessing the river from Burnt Fort. The kiosk at Burnt Fort will share information about the nonalluvial (blackwater) river and swamps, as well as the tidal river and freshwater tidal marsh, high priority habitats which can be accessed from this public boat landing.
Burnt Fort landing, directly off of Highway 252, gets a large amount of traffic each year. Visitors’ primary activities are boating, fishing, and camping. DNR creel surveys in 2014 estimated between 260 and 1050 anglers used this landing between April and October. This informational kiosk will increase awareness of the important habitats near them, and inspire visitors to actively look for wildlife.
The Satilla Riverkeeper oversaw the project on behalf of the Satilla River Water Trail Partnership. Wayne Morgan contributed wildlife photographs for the informational signage. The kiosk was funded by the Georgia Wildlife Viewing Grant Program, and designed and constructed by volunteers with Boy Scout Troop 204.
Included in the onsite photograph are: Jeannie Bufkin - Leven's mother, Laura Early - Satilla Riverkeeper, Wayne Morgan - Wayne Morgan Photography, Leven Bufkin - boy Scouts of America, Lynn Crews - Okefenokee Chamber, Hampton Raulerson - Charlton County, Jim Page – DNR, and Wilton DeLoach – Satilla Riverkeeper Board of Directors.
The Satilla Riverkeeper® is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, restoring, and educating about the ecologically unique Satilla River. For more information, please visit www.satillariverkeeper.org.