Defending the Georgia Coast

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Camden County Sued for Hiding Critical Spaceport Information from the Public

WOODBINE, GA – Environmental organizations filed new claims today against Spaceport Camden proponents for unlawfully withholding important public documents about the flawed project. On behalf of One Hundred Miles, the Southern Environmental Law...

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Virtual Meeting on Proposed Okefenokee Swamp Mine Draws More Questions Than Answers

ATLANTA, GA—Today the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a virtual public meeting concerning Twin Pines’ new application for the first phase of a 12,000-acre proposed mine on the southeastern edge of the Okefenokee Swamp....

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FAA Requires Spaceport Camden Proponents to Restart Environmental Review

ATLANTA, GA—Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it will require Camden County to complete a revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Spaceport Camden. FAA’s decision to require a new EIS follows Camden County’s last...

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SELC calls on FAA to start new review of flawed spaceport

After spending over $7 million dollars and several years of pushing a proposed spaceport to launch medium-large rockets from the Georgia coast, the Camden County Board of Commissioners has abandoned that proposal. Instead the county board is seeking...

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Camden County Keeps Local Residents in the Dark about Spaceport Risks

WOODBINE, GA—Georgia conservation groups and concerned residents are demanding answers from Camden County and Spaceport Camden consultants, charging that unlawfully withholding documents concerning public safety and environmental impacts leaves...

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SELC, coastal partners challenge federal permit for Georgia groin

Though the Georgia coast was largely spared from hurricanes in 2018, storm damage to Sea Island from previous years has led developers to expand the scope of a harmful project that SELC and partners have been challenging over the past three years. S...

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Georgia Conservation Groups File Federal Challenge to Sea Island Groin

SAVANNAH, GA—Georgia conservation groups are challenging a federal permit that could allow the construction of a third coastal barrier wall on Sea Island to begin as soon as today.   On behalf of Altamaha Riverkeeper and One Hundred Miles, the...

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SELC Files Suit Against the FAA for Withholding Spaceport Safety Assessments

Atlanta, GA—The Southern Environmental Law Center is challenging the Federal Aviation Administration for refusing to disclose important information about the risks of harm to human life and property around a proposed spaceport in Camden County....

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SELC, partners urge Corps to deny federal permit for Sea Island groin

SELC and partners continue to oppose a federal permit to construct a third coastal barrier wall on Georgia’s Sea Island, especially in light of significant damage to the island as a result of two major hurricanes that pummeled the Georgia coast in re...

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Georgia Environmental Protection Division gets greenlight to gut statewide water quality protections

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has gotten approval to move forward with rollbacks to state water quality protections, that favor industrial polluters over the health of statewide waterways. The Board of Natural Resources decided today...

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Federal clean water rollback makes the Georgia Water Coalition’s 2017 “Dirty Dozen”

The Georgia Water Coalition recently released its seventh annual Dirty Dozen report which highlights 12 of the worst offenses to Georgia’s waters and serves as a call to action to solve these problems. While previous years have largely focused on...

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EPA memo: Altamaha River impaired due to ongoing pulp plant pollution

A new memo from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that the Altamaha River is currently impaired for both color and odor from polluted discharge downstream of the Rayonier Advanced Materials pulp plant in Jesup, Georgia. This week, SELC and...

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Camden Commissioners vote to delay decision on Cumberland Island rezoning

This week, the Camden County Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of granting the National Park Service’s request to slow down the process for rezoning 1,000 acres on Cumberland Island to allow for more residential development. {image1} Most...

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More than 70% of local residents oppose plans to rezone Cumberland Island for development

The majority of residents in Camden County, Georgia, overwhelmingly oppose plans to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island to allow for more residential development, according to a recent public opinion poll. More than 70 percent oppose the...

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Over 70% of Camden County Residents Oppose Plans to Rezone Cumberland Island for Development

St. Marys, GA — The majority of Camden County residents overwhelmingly oppose plans to rezone 1,000 acres on Cumberland Island to allow for more residential development, according to a recent public opinion poll. More than 70% oppose the proposal...

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Court reverses ruling, allows Georgia pulp mill to continue polluting river

A Georgia superior court has ruled that a pulp mill’s visible, foul-smelling pollution of the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia can continue. Representing Altamaha Riverkeeper, SELC, GreenLaw, and Stack & Associates successfully challenged...

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SELC, partners challenge proposed subdivision on Georgia’s historic Cumberland Island

Conservation groups filed an appeal today of the Camden County Planning Commission’s decision to grant a hardship variance for a proposed subdivision on Cumberland Island, Georgia. On behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association and St....

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Groups Challenge Proposed Cumberland Island Development

Woodbine, GA—Conservation groups filed an appeal today of the Camden County Planning Commission’s decision to grant a hardship variance for a proposed development on Cumberland Island. On behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association and...

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Court Rules in Favor of Sea Island Groin Construction

Atlanta, GA—Conservation groups lost an appeal today in Fulton County Superior Court challenging the Georgia Shore Protection Committee’s issuance of a permit to Sea Island Acquisition LLC for construction of a groin in an ecologically-sensitive...

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Georgia court rules pulp mill’s pollution permit unlawful

Following a fifteen-year dispute between Rayonier Advanced Materials and the Altamaha Riverkeeper over the pulp mill’s pollution in Jesup, Georgia, an administrative law judge has invalidated the mill’s Clean Water Act permit because it allows...

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Court Rules in Favor of Conservation Groups’ Challenge to Pulp Mill Pollution Discharge Permit

Atlanta, GA—A state administrative court has ruled in favor of conservation groups challenging a pulp mill’s visible, foul-smelling pollution of the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia. Representing Altamaha Riverkeeper, GreenLaw, Stack &...

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SELC, partners appeal Georgia court’s decision allowing construction of Sea Island groin

UPDATE: In late December, the Fulton County Superior Court denied our appeal challenging the proposed groin on Sea Island. SELC and our partners are evaluating our options concerning the state permit, and will continue to monitor the federal...

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Conservation Groups Appeal Decision Allowing Sea Island Groin Construction

Atlanta, GA—The Southern Environmental Law Center representing One Hundred Miles and GreenLaw representing Altamaha Riverkeeper filed an appeal today after a state administrative court denied the groups’ petition last month challenging the Georgia...

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Community unable to fish, paddle Georgia’s Altamaha River near polluting pulp mill

A decision is expected within 30 days of closing arguments presented last week in a state administrative hearing over a pulp mill’s visible, foul-smelling pollution of the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia. After years of operating under an...

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Appeals hearing concludes on proposed Sea Island groin

Attorneys presented nearly four hours of closing arguments this week in a state appeals hearing over a proposed groin on Georgia’s Sea Island.   Sea Island Acquisition LLC is seeking to construct a 350-foot-long groin—a wall constructed...

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As developer remains mum on details, SELC pushes for more protections around proposed GA port

Over the last few months, the citizens of St. Marys have demanded more answers around a New York developer’s ambiguous plans for an industrial site that could irreparably change the historic Georgia coastal town. Despite few project specifics, it...

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Pulp mill’s pollution discharge permit falls short of Georgia water quality standards

Georgia conservation groups are challenging the pollution discharge permit recently granted to Rayonier Performance Fibers LLC, claiming that the permit’s limits on odor, color, and turbidity do not go far enough to uphold state water quality...

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Color, Odor Limits in Rayonier Pollution Discharge Permit Fall Short

Atlanta, GA— Conservation groups are challenging the pollution discharge permit recently granted to Rayonier Performance Fibers LLC (Rayonier), claiming that the permit’s limits on odor, color and turbidity do not go far enough to uphold state water...

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Agreement preserves crucial Georgia wetlands

More than 4,000 acres along Georgia’s Altamaha River will be preserved thanks to an agreement reached this week between the state, conservation groups, and developers. SELC worked with the Altamaha Riverkeeper and other concerned parties to shift...

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GA Supreme Court Defers to EPD, Buffer Protection for Freshwater Wetlands Not Required

Atlanta, GA—The Georgia Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) after the agency appealed a state court of appeals' decision that the Georgia Erosion & Sedimentation Act’s 25-foot water quality buffer...

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One year later: SELC’s work to restore GA buffer proves successful

Georgia has come a long way in one year. Last year on Earth Day the state’s Environmental Protection Division announced it was stripping the coast of the 25-foot buffer designed to protect marshes from development and other impacts. Today, a bill to...

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Court allows continued use of flawed permit for long docks on Georgia coast

A federal court has upheld the use of a general permit for docks constructed on the Georgia coast, which includes a condition allowing docks to exceed the permit’s maximum walkway size by 25 percent if they are made with fiberglass or metal grated...

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Amended buffer bill restores critical protection for Georgia coast

After months of negotiating with lawmakers at the Georgia Capitol, SELC and our partners have been successful in restoring the 25-foot protective buffer along Georgia’s coastal marshes, and in closing large loopholes in the bill that would have left...

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SELC takes action to close Nationwide Permit 13 loophole, protect coast

Bulkheads and seawalls are meant to prevent erosion, but their impact on the coast can be devastating. Ironically, these hard structures can accelerate erosion in adjacent areas. And over time they eliminate coastal salt marsh—along with the natural...

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Conservation Groups Challenge Unlawful Permit to Prevent Further Shoreline Damage

Washington, DC—Conservation groups have filed suit in federal court challenging the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ use of a permit that allows construction of bulkheads, seawalls, and other hardened structures to be built in waters of the United...

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Conservation Groups Request Georgia Court to Enforce Buffer Ruling

Atlanta, GA—Conservation groups are requesting that a state court enforce its recent decision to extend protective buffers to all state waters in response to the Environmental Protection Division’s (EPD) instructions that Georgia authorities ignore...

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DuPont mining plans on hold

After SELC filed comments and weighed in at public hearings, DuPont has withdrawn its application for a surface mining permit in Wayne County. The company has its eyes on deposits of titanium dioxide, zircon, and other heavy metals found in a line...

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Public Outcry Against Proposed Mine Continues to Grow, Mining Company Withdraws Permit Application

JESUP, GA—After hundreds of local residents, conservation groups, and elected officials expressed concerns around a proposed mining operation that would cover over 4,000 acres in Wayne County and threaten nearby watersheds, DuPont Titanium...

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State Court Ruling Clarifies All Georgia Waters Protected by Buffers

ATLANTA, GA—The Georgia Court of Appeals sided with conservation groups yesterday and ruled that all state waters are protected under Georgia law by a 25-foot vegetative buffer. The decision overrules the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s...

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Coastal Groups Denounce Governor’s Decision to Strip Georgia Coast of Protective Buffer

Brunswick, GA—Coastal groups have expressed disappointment in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s announcement earlier today to strip the Georgia Coast of the 25-foot buffer designed to protect the marsh from development and other...

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Coastal Groups Urge Corps to Deny Permit for Proposed Development, Cite Impacts to Wetlands

Brunswick, GA—Coastal groups have submitted a comment letter urging the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit that would allow development of over 5,500 acres of land, citing stormwater impacts to freshwater tidal...

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Court Upholds Coastal Marsh Protections, Denies Permit for Private Marina on Wilmington Island

Atlanta, GA - A state court on Friday upheld Georgia’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee’s denial of a permit for a private marina proposed to be built in state marshlands on Wilmington Island, east of Savannah, Georgia. The court ruled that...

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Southern Environmental Law Center Joins GreenLaw and Stack & Associates to Clean Up Altamaha River

The Southern Environmental Law Center has joined GreenLaw and the Atlanta-based law firm Stack & Associates to represent the Altamaha Riverkeeper in its efforts to stop pollution of the Altamaha River, caused by ongoing effluent discharges from the...

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Corps’ Flawed Decision Risks Georgia’s Scenic Coastal Marshes

The Southern Environmental Law Center today challenged in federal court the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ general permit authorizing the construction of large single-family docks along the Georgia Coast that can kill its vital marsh grasses.  Read...

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Corps’ Flawed Decision Risks Georgia’s Scenic Coastal Marshes

The Southern Environmental Law Center today challenged in federal court the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ general permit authorizing the construction of large single-family docks along the Georgia Coast that can kill its vital marsh grasses.  The...

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700 acres of Georgia cypress wetlands to be restored and protected

A federal court approved an agreement between a private landowner and conservation groups to restore and protect over 700 acres of Georgia’s iconic cypress wetlands and coastal salt marsh near Brunswick, Georgia. The agreement resolves a federal...

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Court upholds coastal marsh protections on Wilmington Island

A state court ruled yesterday that Georgia’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee violated the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act when it failed to require a needs assessment justifying a private marina in state marshlands on Wilmington Island,...

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Court Upholds Coastal Marsh Protections on Wilmington Island

A state court ruled yesterday that Georgia’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee violated the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act when it failed to require a needs assessment justifying a private marina in state marshlands on Wilmington Island,...

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SELC Launches Living Shorelines Project

SELC recently hosted more than 50 of our partners and national and regional policymakers at our one-day roundtable, Living Shorelines, in Richmond Hills, GA, to promote the use of living shorelines as an alternative to seawalls and bulkheads....

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Corps Goes Forward With Program that Lowers Environmental Standards

In Georgia, the Savannah District of the Army Corps of Engineers is going forward with a permitting program that will significantly weaken stream and wetland protections in an attempt to fast-track economic stimulus projects--even though state...

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SELC Urges Corps Not to Sacrifice Water Quality in Rush to Stimulate Economy

The Savannah District of the Army Corps of Engineers has proposed a permitting program that would fast-track approval to dredge and fill streams and wetlands for projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act―the economic stimulus...

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Savannah Magazine Highlights SELC’s Work on the Georgia Coast

More and more people are flocking to the Georgia coast to enjoy its natural wonders—from its sandy beaches to its tidal creeks and rivers to its cypress swamps and salt marsh. But will the region’s popularity destroy the very natural features that...

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New Report: Across America, Waters in Crisis

For decades, the Clean Water Act has broadly protected America’s lakes, rivers, streams, and drinking water sources from unregulated pollution and destruction, rescuing them from the dire straits they were in during the late 1960s and early 1970s....

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SELC Helps to Scale Back Dock Plans On St. Simon’s Island

SELC and the Altamaha Riverkeeper helped convince Georgia regulators to scale back a developer’s plan to build two massive, three-tiered docks for new marinas serving a luxury hotel and condominium complex on St. Simons Island. We argued that the...

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