Protecting the Okefenokee Swamp and Its Impact Yesterday, Today, and For the Future Generations of Tomorrow
Decatur, GA (10/24/2023) – The Dekalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution today expressing support for the Okefenokee Swamp in the face of a threat posed by a proposed titanium strip mine.
By a 7-0 vote, the commissioners noted the ecological and economic significance of the swamp, expressed solidarity with South Georgia government entities that have spoken out against Twin Pines Minerals’ proposed titanium mine along the swamp’s hydrologic boundary, and also stated their support for state legislative action to protect the Okefenokee.
“The Okefenokee Swamp is Georgia’s greatest natural treasure and is beloved by Dekalb County citizens,” said Commissioner Ted Terry, who introduced the resolution. “Mining along the swamp’s boundary is simply incompatible with this priceless ecosystem. Dekalb County joins numerous South Georgia local governments in urging the state to deny the permits for the Twin Pines project and urges the state legislature to pass the Okefenokee Protection Act that would permanently prohibit mining along the swamp’s boundary.”
Dekalb’s action follows similar resolutions passed by Ware, Clinch and Echols Counties and the cities of Valdosta, Waycross, Homeland and St. Mary’s that have expressed opposition to the mining proposal. Those resolutions in turn followed over 100,000 comments submitted by Georgia citizens to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division earlier this year in opposition to the project’s permit applications. The Okefenokee Protection Act has been introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives the last two years. The 2023 version has attracted 96 bipartisan cosponsors, including many from Dekalb County, and would prohibit mining on along the entirety of the swamp’s hydrologic boundary.