Legislative Session:our work is about the future or coastal Georgia
Georgia’s legislature is now in session, and the One Hundred Miles team is on the scene in Atlanta. From now until March 30, we’re working side-by-side with our partners and legislators to advocate for our treasured coast at the Statehouse.
This year, One Hundred Miles is helping to pass a bill that protects Georgia’s ground and surface water from coal ash contamination, as well as a bill that ensures all our state’s rivers and streams are protected by a buffer. We’re advocating for new language that improves the Shore Protection Act, one of the most valuable tools we have to protect our marshlands and shorelines. And we’re working to ensure a dangerous bill backed by the petroleum industry (which would prevent local governments from having the power to ban plastic bags in their own communities) does not get introduced and passed.
But most importantly, we’re giving coastal Georgians a platform to share their own stories. On February 15, more than 40 advocates and students joined us for our 3rd annual trip from the coast to Atlanta for Capitol Conservation Day. During the day-long event, we provided an interactive “Advocacy 101” training to help participants make the most of their meetings with legislators.
Together, we …
- “Called Out” our coastal legislators from active session to tell our coastal story
- Testified before a subcommittee public hearing on a bill (HB271) that seeks to change the Shore Protection Act
- Met one-on-one with our legislators to address the issues of plastic pollution, shoreline buffers, and coal ash on our coast.
“People call me something that’s not really popular now, but it will be real soon. They call me an environmentalist. Some people make that out to be a bad word, but it’s really a good word. It means we’re doing things to protect our planet, our nation’s natural resources,” said Dr. Lester G. Jackson, State Senator to Savannah’s Gould Elementary School students.
In an effort to keep up the positive momentum, we’ll be updating our efforts during the Legislative Session on our website. If you didn’t join our day at the Capitol, but you want to stay in the loop and would like to attend next year, email Kelly to be added to the list.
One Hundred Miles is advocating and collaborating with our partners in the Georgia Water Coalition and legislators to pass three priority bills to protect our coastal communities and waterways from toxic coal ash pollution.
These three bills are needed to prevent coal ash pollution across the state:
- HB 387 requires utilities to get the proper permits before discharging coal ash wastewater into Georgia’s waterways;
- HB 388 ensures that landfills receiving coal ash have a good plan and take adequate precautions to prevent coal ash contamination;
- SB 165 ensures that anyone who produces coal ash remains liable for that ash forever and that Georgians can take action against out of state producers if their water and communities are polluted.
We urgently need you to weigh in and help us push these three bills over the finish line this session! Contact Megan Desrosiers, [email protected] to learn how you can get involved.
Shore Protection Act:
The Georgia General Assembly is considering changes to one of the most important state laws that protect Georgia’s coast. The Shore Protection Act safeguards man-made structures from storm surge and extreme high tides by ensuring adequate setbacks from the ocean.
HB 271, sponsored by Representative Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah) and other coastal legislators, contains changes that will improve the effectiveness of the Shore Protection Act, but only if one small change is made. Please ask the members of the House Natural Resource Committee to increase the proposed 25-foot setback to 150 feet from the ordinary high water mark. This increase will protect future structures from erosion, storm surge, and abnormally high tides.