It's about Paddling. Birding. Camping. Hiking. Fishing. Breathing Fresh Air. Drinking Clean Water. Conserving a Way of Life.
Protect Georgia, formerly known as the Georgia Environmental Action Network (GEAN), is a group of citizens willing to take a stand for Georgia's environment. Led by a coalition of partner organizations, Protect Georgia alerts its members as critical issues arise. With the click of a button, individuals let their elected officials know what they think.
Every year, millions of visitors come to Georgia¹s coast because our coast offers experiences they cannot get anywhere else in the world. Georgia¹s expansive salt marsh is a defining feature. It incubates our quality of life and provides habitat and bounty for fish and wildlife. Without healthy salt marshes, coastal Georgia¹s unique identity would be reduced.
For decades, residents of Georgia have supported laws that protect our marsh. That protection has been largely successful. According to the University of Georgia (UGA), Georgia¹s coast has nearly one-half million acres of fresh and saltwater marshland. Our marshes range from 4 to 8 miles wide and extend the full length of our 100-mile coast. UGA also notes that our coast has the second largest amount of salt marsh in the United States and that the marshland on Georgia¹s coast makes up an estimated one-third of all the salt marshes on the east coast.
On April 22, 2014, the Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) directed his staff to no longer enforce a 25 foot buffer requirement in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act. This decision jeopardizes hundreds of thousands of acres of salt marsh on Georgia¹s coast. As a result, it has the potential to change coastal Georgia¹s quality of life forever.
We must work together to urge our state elected officials to pass an amendment to the Erosion and Sedimentation Act so that the buffer provision clearly applies to coastal salt marsh. Our elected officials need to hear from you.