Lawmakers urge Department of Interior to nominate the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge as a UNESCO World Heritage site
The United States first recommended the Refuge for the honor in 2008
Washington D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is launching a bipartisan push to make the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sen. Ossoff and Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA-01) are urging the U.S. Interior Department to nominate the Okefenokee Refuge for the honor, a crucial step in getting considered by UNESCO.
Sen. Ossoff and Rep. Carter are joined by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock and Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Nikema Williams (D-GA-05), Lucy McBath (D-GA-07), and David Scott (D-GA-13).
“A UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge would encourage environmental protection and economic prosperity for the region. It would support efforts to protect and preserve the Refuge’s natural and cultural resources and further important scientific exploration and analysis,” Sen. Ossoff, Rep. Carter, and the Georgia lawmakers wrote.
The Okefenokee holds significant cultural importance to Native American tribes, including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The Refuge contains at least 74 Native American mounds and is in the process of being recognized as a Traditional Cultural Property for its relevance to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s culture.
The Refuge was first placed on the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List in 2008 and recommended for a World Heritage Site designation.
Click here to read the letter.