McCormick residents have a new tool in the constant debate about the best way to use the resources of Lake Thurmond and the Savannah River.
The first meeting of the Savannah River Caucus in April brought together legislators from Georgia and South Carolina and from both parties. The caucus represents more than two million residents.
Barbara and Harry Shelley, representing the Friends of the Savannah River Basin from McCormick, were invited to the caucus' first meeting. Shelley said lawsuits between Florida and Georgia about the Chattahoochee River formed part of the inspiration behind the caucus.
"(The Savannah River) is a critical resource," Harry Shelley said. "And the legislators from Georgia and South Carolina wanted to avoid ending up like Georgia and Florida."
The main proponents of the caucus were South Carolina District 8 Rep. Don Bowen and Georgia District 32 Rep. Alan Powell.
Several local legislators signed onto the caucus, including District 25 State Sen. Shane Massey and District 12 Rep. Anne Parks. Massey said the primary fight for the caucus is likely to be with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the water levels in Lake Thurmond.