Protect Planet’s Largest Blackwater Swamp Refuge From Mining Destruction

Target: Jeff Cown, Director of Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division

Goal: Do not grant permit to mining project that could endanger Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Earth’s largest blackwater swamp, home to hundreds of diverse plant and animal species, is under imminent threat from a proposed titanium mining project. Georgia’s 600-plus mile expanse, known as Okefenokee Swamp, hosts a federally protected reserve: the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. For several years, mining company Twin Pines Minerals has attempted to stake a claim to an area close to the refuge. Their plans include extracting nearly one-and-a-half million gallons of water daily from the region.

Environmentalists have long warned this mining project could not only inflict significant damage on the swamp’s habitats but also unleash tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A broad coalition has formed to oppose the project, from the Muscogee Nation (whose sacred burial lands are potentially in peril) to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Both the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have also attempted to intervene, but for now approval of the project is completely under the discretion of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division. This agency seems poised to grant permits despite revelations about the mining company’s reported prior violations of environmental standards.

They have opened a window for public comment that will soon expire. Sign the petition below to let your voice be heard against this proposed attack on an irreplaceable ecological treasure.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Cown,

You have already received over 60,000 comments regarding Twin Pines’ proposed mining project in the Okefenokee Swamp region. Will you heed the concerns from ecologists, environmentalists, tribal nations, federal regulators, and so many more about the danger this project would pose to hundreds of plants and animals, as well as carbon emissions reduction goals? Or will you turn a blind eye, as you apparently have regarding Twin Pines’ reported violation of the state’s Water Well Standards Act…not to mention its apparently misleading assertions about the new proposed project’s environmental impact?

Please use this comment period as more than a display of pacification and grandstanding. Undertake a deeper evaluation of this mining project, and do not grant a free license that could destroy the world’s largest and most eco-diverse blackwater swamp.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


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