News | February 17, 2023

Draft mining plan offers latest chance to protect the Okefenokee

Three white birds sit atop trees in the Okefenokee Swamp. (@Gregory Miller)

Senior Attorney Bill Sapp recently reached out to SELC supporters, outlining what’s at stake as state officials in Georgia review a draft plan for the proposed mine on the doorstep of the Okefenokee Swamp. Join him in urging Georgia regulators to listen to their constituents and reject this unwanted project.

Help us protect the Okefenokee.

As Georgia regulators consider a draft mining plan, the iconic Okefenokee Swamp—one of the largest intact freshwater ecosystems we have left in North America—remains at risk. 

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is currently considering Alabama-based mining company Twin Pines’ proposal to start mining operations for a 8,000-acre heavy mineral sand strip mine. 

White man with brown hair and glasses wearing a suit stands in front of book case.
Senior Attorney Bill Sapp (@Stephanie Gross)

Protecting the Okefenokee is one of our top priorities at the Southern Environmental Law Center. In addition to urging Georgia regulators to take action to preserve the swamp now and for future generations, SELC is also in federal court challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to unlawfully reinstate illegal determinations that removed federal protections from almost 600 acres of wetlands next to the Okefenokee.  

Experts say mining operations may impact regional hydrology and will likely release toxic contaminants into nearby surface and groundwater, potentially killing threatened and endangered wildlife and destroying important habitat. We know even authorizing phase one of the mine near the Okefenokee could be devastating to the ecological health of this iconic natural treasure. 

EPD decisionmakers need to hear from you today. Tell them to reject the mining plan that would put one of our continent’s best assets and the communities and businesses that depend on it in harm’s way. 

This comment period is now closed. Thank you to the thousands of advocates who participated. Sign up for our mailing list below to get involved through advocacy and learn how we’re defending our natural resources and the people that live in the South.