LEESBURG — The Lee County Commission was in a giving mood this week.

Commissioners announced that they had made the decision to donate a jon boat and trailer that has been used for search-and-rescue and code enforcement operations to the Flint Riverkeeper.

Riverkeeper officials said they will use the boat to patrol the Flint River and its tributaries in search of pollution violations, to assist in waterway cleanups and to help educate citizens and donors about the functions and value of the region’s waterways.

“Lee County is encouraged by Flint Riverkeeper’s work to protect and promote our valuable local creeks and rivers,” Lee County Co-Manager Mike Sistrunk said. “This donation is a small token of our appreciation with practical application.”

Riverkeeper Executive Director Gordon Rogers said the boat will be a useful tool for the organization.

“We are certainly humbled by the generosity and trust that the citizens of Lee County and their leaders have shown us,” Rogers said in a news release. “We pledge to use the boat in a way that will make folks in Lee County proud of the fact that we are using their property to promote and protect the Flint.”

Lee County and the Riverkeeper organization have a history of working closely. In 2010, Lee Code Enforcement Officer Jim Wright was honored as a “river hero” for his close attention to detail of erosion and sedimentation regulations on area waterways.

The county has also been proactive in upgrades of its wastewater treatment system, which discharges into the Kinchafoonee Creek. The county and Riverkeeper staff have also conducted many joint cleanup activities along area waterways.

The formal transfer of the boat took place at Sutton’s Landing in Lee County on Friday.

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