skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, April 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

25 million Blacks, Latinos missing from voter databases; major news organizations urge Biden and Trump to commit to presidential debates; NM gun-control advocates praise federal rule closing 'gun show loophole; Arkansas group raising awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans want citizenship proof for federal election voting, under White House pressure Israel shows restraint after Iran's attack and Trump's hush money trial starts.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Groups Urge Georgia DEP to Nix Mine Permit Near Okefenokee

play audio
Play

Wednesday, March 8, 2023   

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division wants the public to weigh in on whether a titanium mine will be allowed to operate near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Conservation groups are urging Georgia's EPD to block permits for the Twin Pines Minerals mine near the Okefenokee's intact freshwater wetland system, which extends into Florida.

Ben Prater - southeast program director for the group Defenders of Wildlife - said the Okefenokee refuge is one of the largest east of the Mississippi River, at 438,000 acres.

He added that they're encouraging Georgians to voice their concerns during the comment period.

"Mining to certain depths - disturbing the geologic layers that allow this ecosystem to function - could just have significant, widespread and deleterious effects to the entire swamp's ecosystem," said Prater. "As well as headwaters to two major rivers in the states of Georgia and Florida - the Sewanee and St. Marys."

Twin Pines Minerals maintains the mine "poses no risk to the environment," and is fighting some scientists' claims that the mine could "drain the swamp."

The company's website says the proposed site is almost three miles southeast of the nearest Okefenokee boundary.

The public comment period ends March 19.

Prater pointed out that there are concerns about preserving some geologic features of the swamp's Trail Ridge. He described it as a high ridge of ancient sand dunes which essentially acts as an earthen barrier or dam that keeps water in the swamp.

"That's vital because the retention of that water - these wet ecosystems - allow for resilience to drought, resilience to wildfires," said Prater, "and again, the functioning and free-flowing source of clean water for two major rivers, which in and of themselves are important habitats."

Prater added that the Okefenokee is economically vital to this part of Georgia, supporting about 750 jobs and providing income from recreation and ecotourism.

He noted that Okefenokee is also a potential candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status, which is afforded to only the most remarkable natural landscapes.




get more stories like this via email
more stories
In March, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced House Bill 2063, which would reform the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs. (Jasmina/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report analyzes Pennsylvania's existing voucher programs, that divert public funds to private schools. This comes on the heels of Gov…


Social Issues

play sound

A bill vetoed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would have raised the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour starting in 2026. While the bill moved out …

play sound

By Erin Aubry Kaplan for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Yes! Magazine-Public News …


There are more than 1,300 species listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the piping plover, a shorebird found on sandy beaches in southern Maine. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Conservationists in Maine said reinstated protections of the Endangered Species Act could help wildlife already struggling to adapt to climate change…

Social Issues

play sound

Haitian-led groups in Massachusetts are calling for a temporary pause in deportations as political instability and violence engulf the island…

Women ages 35 and older in Arkansas have the highest mortality rate, which was 3.9 times the rate of women younger than 25. (Andrey Popov)

Social Issues

play sound

Arkansas is taking critical steps to address its high maternal mortality rate, especially among women of color. In the Natural State, Black women …

Social Issues

play sound

In the midst of political tensions surrounding Israel's handling of the conflict with Hamas, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has voiced her support for …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As the country observes Autism Acceptance Month, Nebraska families raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are among those learning they will …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021