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.
Stay up-to-date on the issues that matter most to you and your family – check back often for the latest developments spanning our 100 miles.
What’s Happening Now:
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.
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.
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.
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. One Hundred Miles’ primary concern is the level of uncertainty in the pre-treatment permit. As more details emerge, we’ll keep you informed on how you can make your voice heard for the coast we love. Learn more about this proposed wastewater permit near Ebenezer Creek.
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.
WSHRN Designation – One Hundred Miles is proud to be a member of the Georgia Shorebird Alliance, a partnership between governments, researchers, NGO, and private citizens committed to advancing shorebird and seabird conservation. The Shorebird Alliance is nominating Georgia’s barrier islands and marshlands to be designated a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) “landscape of hemispheric importance for shorebirds.” Our role is to coordinate the outreach around this important effort to bring attention to the significance of the Georgia coast as critical wintering and foraging habitat for migrating shorebirds. This designation would bring increased awareness to our region, promote our nature based economy and also bring international funding opportunities for conservation and research to our coast.
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.
Coal Ash on the Coast – In April 2017, Republic Services announced it will withdraw its coal ash permit application in Wayne County. A win for the coast! We were proud to be a part of a strong coalition of coastal advocates. We will continue to fight for the protection of our coastal resources and communities.
In February 2016, Central Virginia Properties, Spartanburg, SC waste company, announced plans to fill nearly 25 acres of wetlands to construct a rail yard in Wayne County near Screven, Georgia.
According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers permit application to alter the wetlands, the applicant expects the rail yard to accommodate “100+ rail cars” bringing materials for transfer to the nearby Broadhurst Landfill. The company expects that many of these rail cars will carry 10,000 tons of incoming toxic coal ash every day.
Legislative Session 2017-2018- March 30, 2016 marked the end of the Georgia’s 40-day Legislative Session - and what a 40 days they were! Thanks to your efforts and OHM’s presence at the Capitol, 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 worked 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,” said Megan Desrosiers, OHM’s CEO, in The Brunswick News.