An incredible national treasure, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, is again under threat.
raised by 64 people
Support efforts to protect the Okefenokee Swamp!
One of our world’s most important ecological treasures is under threat, and it is our job as Georgians to see that it remains protected - today and for future generations.
Though the vast majority of the 438,000-acre Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is strategically preserved as a Federal wilderness area, mining interests just beyond its boundaries could permanently alter the Swamp.
In July 2019, a proposal was submitted to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) by Twin Pines, LLC, an out-of-state mining company. Through a form of strip mining, they seek to extract heavy metals from tracts extremely close to the southeastern edge of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Charlton County.
Throughout the many months since, jurisdictional oversight has bounced between state and federal regulators. Currently, in November 2022, oversight now lies with the State of Georgia.
As a result, there will likely be minimal Federal oversight of the proposed project, placing primary responsibility for permits with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Charlton County. In Georgia, we know of no other projects of this magnitude in recent history that had not triggered an individual federal permitting process.
This recent change highlights the important advocacy role that the Georgia Conservancy and our members have at the state and local levels.
If allowed to move forward, the mining would impact wetlands on or directly adjacent to this tract and could permanently impact the hydrology of the entire Okefenokee Swamp. It is important to remember that the Okefenokee’s biodiverse ecosystem is also home to the headwaters of two notable rivers, the Suwannee and the St. Marys.
A healthy and functioning Okefenokee is also important to local economies. Each year, 600,000 people visit the Okefenokee, generating $88M in economic impact in Charlton, Clinch, and Ware Counties.
Risking the health of the Okefenokee, its ecosystem, and its current economic impact is as unthinkable today as it was in the late 1990s. Then, the swift action of concerned citizens, scientists, lawmakers, and conservation groups fought off a similar mining threat.
Today, your help is needed with this evolving threat. Please make a gift to the Georgia Conservancy to help expand our efforts to protect the Okefenokee Swamp.
Learn more about the threat mining poses and what you can do to help ensure that this project does not proceed: www.georgiaconservancy.org/okefenokee/mining
Founded in 1967, the Georgia Conservancy’s mission to protect and conserve Georgia’s natural resources through advocacy, engagement, and collaboration is driven by a vision of a Georgia where people and the environment thrive.
To learn more about the Georgia Conservancy and our programmatic work in environmental advocacy, land conservation, stewardship trips, sustainable growth, and coastal resources protection, please visit us: www.georgiaconservancy.org
This fundraiser supports
The Georgia Conservancy
Organized By Danesha Louis