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READOUT: Sen. Ossoff, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland Inspect Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Sen. Ossoff continues working relentlessly to protect the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge

Savannah Morning News:“Sen. Ossoff calls on EPA, Army Corps to halt titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp”

Last year, Sen. Ossoff called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which sits within the Department of the Interior, to continue investigating environmental impacts of the proposed strip mine that threatens the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge

B-roll of Sen. Ossoff and Secretary Haaland’s Okefenokee Swamp and National Swamp and Wildlife Refuge Inspection HERE

Folkston, Ga. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff continues his relentless push to protect the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Today, at Sen. Ossoff’s invitation, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland joined Sen. Ossoff in Folkston, Georgia, to survey the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Sen. Ossoff previously surveyed the refuge last year.

During the visit, Sen. Ossoff and Secretary Haaland were briefed by senior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials on the refuge’s conservation status and environmental risks. They also heard directly from local leaders about the importance of protecting the refuge for the communities in the area.

Sen. Ossoff invited Secretary Haaland to Georgia as he continues working relentlessly to protect the refuge, wilderness, and surrounding wetlands from a proposed strip mine that threatens the refuge.

“The Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, wilderness, and surrounding wetlands are among Georgia’s most precious natural resources and outdoor recreation areas, and I will continue working relentlessly to defend them,” said Sen. Ossoff. “I appreciate Secretary Haaland’s visit to Georgia and her time at the Okefenokee today as she leads the stewardship of precious lands and wilderness nationwide.”

“I appreciate joining Senator Ossoff in Georgia today to see the stunning beauty of the world-renowned Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to addressing the climate crisis and biodiversity loss with every resource we have available, including protecting special places like Okefenokee. Through efforts like the America the Beautiful initiative and the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, we are taking action to conserve and restore our lands and waters, including by engaging local communities and supporting locally led efforts. I was grateful to hear from people who have had the privilege of working and living in and around the Okefenokee Swamp about ongoing and future efforts to protect this ecologically and culturally precious place,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. 

The Department of the Interior stated last year in its analysis that the proposed strip mine “poses risks to the Okefenokee Swamp ecosystem, including the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.”

The Okefenokee is the largest blackwater swamp in North America. It contains a National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Wilderness Area and is one of Georgia’s top sites for outdoor recreation and tourism, drawing more than 600,000 visitors per year, and one of Georgia’s most beloved and environmentally significant wild places.

Click here for video B-roll of Sen. Ossoff and Secretary Haaland’s Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge Inspection.

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