About us

the core team

This project was created by American Rivers, The Conservation Fund, and the Atlanta Regional Commission. All three organizations have been leading initiatives to restore rivers and revitalize communities in metro Atlanta. Finding the Flint builds off years of research, planning, coalition building, and big ideas for the Flint's headwaters in the airport area.

In 2013, the Flint River was ranked on the America’s Most Endangered Rivers® list. That same year, American Rivers published RUNNING DRY: Restoring Healthy Flows in Georgia's Upper Flint River Basin. That same year, they began convening the Upper Flint River Working Group, a group that includes several south metro water utilities, to begin examining and addressing low-flow problems in the upper Flint River basin. They have been making good progress on their Upper Flint River Resiliency Action Plan.

In 2015, recognizing the impact of the airport on the headwaters, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport partnered with American Rivers to study stormwater management at the airport and identify areas suitability for green infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the ARC was building a coalition that would become the Aerotropolis Alliance, a non-profit membership organization and a coalition of leading business and community leaders committed to revitalizing the airport area. In 2016, they released the Aerotropolis Blueprint, "a first of its kind strategy for the Atlanta region—providing the framework and impetus to transform metro Atlanta’s Southside."

In 2017, these three organizations hired Atlanta Beltline visionary Ryan Gravel's firm Sixpitch to bring these ideas together in an aerotropolis-wide vision for the Flint River headwaters. With the support of Southside native and author Hannah Palmer, the Finding the Flint was born.

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the working group

In October 2017, we convened the first meeting of the Finding the Flint Working Group at Woodward Academy. This group is a visible constituency of private and public stakeholders in the headwaters area working to make the Finding the Flint vision a reality. 

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The river is a rallying point. It’s a common cause that all Aerotropolis stakeholders can support.
— Michael Cheyne, Director of Asset Management and Sustainability, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport