Statement: Victory in the Okefenokee Swamp

We’ve had a significant win in the struggle to stop a mining operation near the Okefenokee Swamp. These iconic wetland forests are once again protected under the Clean Water Act due to the reversal of a Trump-era rule that gave permitting control to the states. The state level permitting process came to a halt when the US Army Corps of Engineers re-established their federal jurisdiction over these waters. Now Twin Pines will be required to go through the more rigorous federal permitting process. Let’s celebrate this victory today knowing that the work of permanent protections for the largest blackwater wetlands in North America isn’t over yet.

This is a victory for environmental justice along with cultural and natural heritage.

Okefenokee-swamp-with-kayakers

This is also a huge victory for all who love and depend on the Okefenokee Swamp, a national natural treasure and one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders.

It is the largest blackwater wetlands in North America and one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems. The refuge supports hundreds of local jobs and produces nearly $65 million for the local economy annually.

Dogwood Alliance applauds the Corps’ decision and calls on the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to permanently protect the Okefenokee Swamp. There is bipartisan support for its protection. Representatives Darlene Taylor (R-173) and Debbie Buckner (D-137) passed the Okefenokee Protection Resolution (HR 1158) earlier this year and hope to pass the Okefenokee Protection Act of 2022 next session.

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