Advocacy in Action:Protecting our coast
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:
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. Click here to read the application package. Update 4/28/17: Their permit has been denied!
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.
Budget Cuts – While our President has promised to keep “America First”, his recommended “budget blueprint”, released on March 15, 2017, puts coastal communities LAST. The federal budget is intended to reflect the values and priorities of the American people, but this proposal only increases risks to the security of coastal homes, coastal jobs and coastal communities. The budget blueprint proposes drastic cut to non-defense related programs upon which coastal Georgians depend.
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.
Offshore Drilling – Victory for all who love our coast! In November 2016, the federal government released a final 5-year plan for the US offshore oil and gas development. Thanks to the amazing efforts of our ocean advocates, the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean were excluded from the plan!
Our coast is bracing for change as we expect the Trump administration to open 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 – processing scientific information and public input – so we could be a voice for the coast.
Learn more about our past and continued efforts to stop offshore drilling across our coast. Stay tuned for more ways to take action!
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.
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.