Our Issues:What You Need to Know
One Hundred Miles staff and advocates are dedicated to protecting our coastal resources and maintaining our quality of life. With your help, we are working on issues affecting our land, wildlife, water and wetlands, and changing coastline.
What’s Happening Now:
WSHRN Designation – We are thrilled to announce that the Western Shorebird Reserve Network has designated the Georgia barrier islands as a Landscape of Hemispheric Importance for shorebirds!
This prestigious designation connects our coast with 99 other sites in 14 countries and countless landowners and stewards committed to conserving shorebirds and their habitats. The barrier islands of Georgia’s 100-mile coast have now become the 100th WHSRN site.
Seismic Testing & Offshore Drilling – Our coast has braced for change as the Trump administration reopened the Atlantic and Arctic oceans for offshore drilling and exploration. The message this sends is that our coast and the programs it provides for jobs and our livelihood are not valued. One Hundred Miles engaged in this two-year campaign so we could be a voice for the coast.
Legislative Session 2018-2019 – Georgia’s General Assembly will begin on Monday, January 8, 2018 and continue for 40 legislative days. Once again, OHM will have a presence at the Capitol. During the 2017-2018 session, we stopped a dangerous proposal to amend the Shore Protection Act (SPA) and secured a House task force to evaluate options for comprehensive legislation addressing the storage of coal ash in Georgia. We will continue to work side-by-side with our partners and legislators to advocate for our treasured coast at the Statehouse.
“We have to come together. Over the next eight months, we all need to learn a lesson and get together before the start of the next legislative session in January 2018,” said Megan Desrosiers, OHM’s CEO, in The Brunswick News.
Ebenezer Creek – Earlier this spring, DRT America (DRTA) requested for an industrial wastewater permit through Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division. This privately held French company has nearly completed construction on the $43 million plant, which will produce rosin and turpentine. The facility is located in the Effingham Industrial Park, less than 3 miles from Ebenezer Creek. Coastal citizens and visitors alike, fear the threat of pollution.
On November 16, 2017, the City of Springfield Council voted unanimously against DRTA’s permit to accept their wastewater into the community. Thank you to all the citizens, Friends of Ebenezer Creek, and partners who contacted your council members, told a friend, and stood up for our black-water wonderland. Thank the City Council for voting NO to accepting DRTA’s toxic wastewater and YES to a positive safe fturue for Ebenezer and its community.
Bike/Pedestrian Project – OHM has launched a grassroots bike/pedestrian campaign in the City of Brunswick – building up efforts to create a comprehensive network of biking and walking paths. Our goal is to connect the dots between the government, community organizations, schools and businesses who can benefit from greater biking and walking in town. Learn more about our efforts to boost pedestrian and bicycle safety and use in the city.
Rezoning Cumberland Island – Camden County is considering a new zoning category for Cumberland Island. This is an endeavor that One Hundred Miles supports, as we believe that finding the right zoning is one means to an end that is consistent with the continued conservation of the Cumberland Island National Seashore. Just as we value the conservation of the public property on the island, we also believe that the private property rights of the island’s landowners are important and should be recognized and respected.
Now is the time for all who love Cumberland Island to advocate for the adoption of a low-density, residential zoning solution for the island’s remaining private property. Learn more about our work to implement a responsible zoning solution on Cumberland Island.
Federal Budget Cuts – While the President has promised to keep “America First”, his recommended federal budget released on May 23, 2017 puts coastal communities last. The President’s “Budget of the U.S. Government – A New Foundation for American Greatness,” recommends federal spending that eliminates investments in science and programs which our coastal communities depend upon.
Jekyll Island Permits – The Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) has applied for a Shore Protection Act (SPA) permit from the Coastal Resources Division to conduct activities along the entirety of the beach and dune system. The SPA is one of the strongest tools we have to protect Georgia’s natural resources.
While we understand the JIA’s interest in simplifying the process of conducting projects with the potential to enhance our beaches and natural resources, we are concerned that the permit application covers an area too broad to be adequately regulated, and that the permit application lacks details necessary to uphold the intent of the SPA. Update 4/28/17: Their permit has been denied!
Waters of the United States (WOTUS) – Last year, One Hundred Miles, along with our partners at the National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Fund, Southern Environmental Law Center, and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League appealed to courts in the 6th District to hear arguments related to the Obama Administration’s changes to the Clean Water Rule (CWR), an important component of the Clean Water Act. We wanted to have a seat at the negotiating table about this very important rule protecting water in coastal Georgia.
One of President Trump’s first actions was to pass an Executive Order repealing this rule. Despite his order, the United States Supreme Court recently announced they will hear arguments to determine if the 6th District Circuit Court has jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act. While we did not anticipate a repeal of the Clean Water Rule at the time we filed our case, we are now in a unique position to address a serious threat to one of the most important environmental protection laws in the nation.