Stephen Milner: The Ogeechee River Project

By  |  April 4, 2013

For the past two months Eastern Georgia has received unprecedented rainfall that has resulted in the Ogeechee River flooding its surrounding communities.

Stephen Milner’s ongoing work, The Ogeechee River Project, documents the environmental problems facing the residents living along the river, as well as some of the recent effects of the flooding. Milner says,

The Ogeechee River is a 294-mile long black-water river that stretches from Crawfordville, GA, southeast into the Ossabaw Sound on the Atlantic coast. The river is a 5,540 square-mile basin and along it, hundreds of thousands of Georgians live and work, making it among the most important natural resources in the state. In May 2011, the largest fish kill in Georgia’s history was recorded, leaving over 40,000 fish dead. King American Finishing, a textile processor in Screven County, was discovered to be discharging a fire retardant into the river for six years without an environmental permit. The thousands of dead fish were only found just below the King Finishing outfall pipe; no dead fish were found upstream from the plant. Environmental activists filed a petition to have the court intervene and stop the plant from discharging toxins into the river and perform reparative work to clean up the water.

Stephen Milner was born and raised on the north fork of Long Island surrounded by water, and has always been drawn to the ocean and its culture. Seeking a fresh approach and using an unprejudiced eye to document his subjects, he's motivated by a curiosity for the unknown and unexpected. He recently spent two quarters studying in Hong Kong and is currently completing his BFA in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. You can see more of his work at his website.

Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Jeff currently teaches photography at Coastal Carolina University. He curates the OA’s weekly photo series, Eyes on the South.