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OktoberForest: Celebrating the Connection between Healthy Forests and Beer

By Marlena Reed, communications & marketing manager, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia

The critical link between healthy forests and beer may not be obvious to most people, but it comes down to beer’s main ingredient: water. That’s why Georgia brewers are joining The Nature Conservancy to celebrate OktoberForest, a campaign to raise awareness about the important role our forests play in providing fresh water

From the maritime forests of Georgia’s barrier islands to the Chattahoochee National Forest and their majestic views, Georgia’s 24.8 million acres of forest land are an important economic, environmental and recreational resource. They clean our air and water, buffer us from extreme weather events, provide habitat for wildlife and places for people to relax and connect with the natural world. 

The relevance of forests to breweries is clear: 95 percent of beer is water, and 40% of the world’s usable water comes from our forests. Forests improve water supplies in many ways — they shade streams, lakes, and snow from evaporation; the forest floor helps filter sediment; and tree roots hold soil together so it can store water like a sponge.

The connection between healthy forests and our drinking water supply is vitally important. 

Next time you enjoy a refreshing glass of water, know that it was probably filtered through a forest, as they filter 50% of our nation’s drinking water. 

The Nature Conservancy works with public agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, Georgia DNR and the military, as well as private landowners, to conserve Georgia’s forests. In the Southern Blue Ridge, Moody Forest and near Fort Benning in Marion County, our fire teams perform prescribed burns to help keep nature in balance. The safe and ecologically appropriate use of fire can stimulate new growth of native plants while keeping invasive species in check and, by reducing the amount of “fuel” created by dead limbs and leaves, can reduce the intensity of wildfires. The Nature Conservancy leads and supports prescribed burns and educates landowners on this important land management tool. 

Flowing from its source in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Chattahoochee River is metro Atlanta’s primary source, supplying 70 percent of the metro’s drinking water. Nearly 867,000 acres filters an average of 45 to 50 inches of rainfall per year, much of which is drained through the Chattahoochee before it makes its way to Lake Lanier and eventually into watershed management facilities for treatment. 

If you care about having healthy forests and clean water, join The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest campaign! You can join us at Eventide Brewing, Thursday, October 10 from 8-10 p.m., for a night of “treevia” and you can meet Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers at SweetWater Brewing on Thursday, October 17, from 6-9 p.m. We hope to see you there! Learn how you can plant a tree today

by texting “TREES” to 97779

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