Formed by the confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers, the Altamaha is the largest free-flowing river on the East Coast and drains its third-largest watershed. It has been designated as one of the Nature Conservancy’s seventy-five Last Great Places because of its unique character and rich natural diversity. In evocative photography and elegant prose, Altamaha captures the distinctive beauty of this river and offers a portrait of the man who has become its improbable guardian.
Few people know the Altamaha better than James Holland. Raised in Cochran, Georgia, Holland spent years on the river fishing, hunting, and working its coastal reaches as a commercial crabber. Witnessing a steady decline in blue crab stocks, Holland doggedly began to educate himself on the area’s environmental and political issues, reaching a deep conviction that the only way to preserve the way of life he loved was to protect the river and its watershed. In 1999, he began serving as the first Altamaha Riverkeeper, finding new purpose in protecting the river and raising awareness about its plight with people in his community and beyond.
At first Holland used photography to document pollution and abuse, but as he came to appreciate and understand the Altamaha in new ways, his photographs evolved, focusing more on the natural beauty he fought to save. More than 230 color photographs capture the area’s majestic landscapes and stunning natural diversity, including a generous selection of some the 234 species of rare plants and animals in the region. In their essays, Janisse Ray offers a profile of Holland’s transformation from orphan and troubled high school dropout to river advocate, and Dorinda G. Dallmeyer celebrates the biological richness and cultural heritage that the Altamaha offers to all Georgians.
About the Author
Dorinda G. Dallmeyer (Author)
DORINDA G. DALLMEYER is a faculty member of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at the University of Georgia and is also the associate director of the University of Georgia's Dean Rusk Center of International, Comparative, and Graduate Legal Studies. She is the editor of five books, including Values at Sea (Georgia).
Janisse Ray (Author)
JANISSE RAY is the author of Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land, Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home, the best-selling Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, and The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. She is also the author of a poetry collection, A House of Branches, and coeditor of Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf. She lives in the Altamaha Community in Reidsville, Georgia.
Date of Birth:1919
Date of Death:May 29, 2003
Table of Contents
Altamaha: A River for All
Dorinda G. Dallmeyer
Our River's Keeper
Visions of the Altamaha
Photographs by James Holland, captions by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer
Rare Animals and Plants of the Altamaha Basin
Compiled by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer