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May. 21, 2018
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Chota Princess II moves to new boathouse

By Pamela A. Keene
 
The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s floating classroom is now situated in its brand-new home, a large double-bay boathouse at Hall County’s River Forks Park on Keiths Bridge Road. The boathouse and dock, built by Marine Specialties Inc., has been designed with expansion in mind and celebrates a three-way partnership on Lake Lanier.
 
“The partnership with Elachee Nature Science Center and the Riverkeeper has been a long and successful one and will continue,” said Jason Ulseth, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “Now, with our relocation to River Forks Park and Campground, we’ve expanded our partnership to include Hall County Parks and Leisure Services as well.” 
 
For more than 15 years, the floating classroom was docked at Aqualand Marina. When the Riverkeeper was notified of a change, the organization began searching for a new location that would satisfy all its needs. “We were looking for a dock and covered slip with access to pavilions, restrooms and adequate parking for buses,” Ulseth said. “Hall County stepped up and embraced the program.” 
 
Marine Specialties was tapped to build the dock and boathouse and began work in late December 217. “They worked as hard and fast as they could to help us get ready in time for our spring educational season,” Ulseth said. “They’ve been a pleasure to work with.”
 
The boathouse has two covered 50-foot slips. The interior is lighted by skylights, and the facility is ADA compliant. 
 
“We are very proud to have been involved with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and its causes of education and the environment,” said Kyle Davis with Marine Specialties. “This was a unique project that will help them with their mission.”
 
The floating classroom, a joint venture between the Riverkeeper and Elachee, began nearly 16 years ago with the Chota Princess, a pontoon purchased through funding by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and other groups. The original boat was replaced nearly a decade ago by the Chota Princess II, a 40-foot catamaran owned and operated by the Riverkeeper. Elachee provides the naturalists who, since 2000, have worked with more than 60,000 students on field trips.
 
For more information, visit Chattahoochee.org.

Posted online 4/30/18
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