Okefeenokee Safety Alliance Honored As Refuge Advocate Of The 12 months For 2024 — The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation

Okefeenokee Safety Alliance Honored As Refuge Advocate Of The 12 months For 2024 — The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – JUNE 13TH, 2024 – The Okefenokee Safety Alliance (OPA) has been named the 2024 Refuge Advocate of the 12 months by the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation. This award acknowledges OPA’s extraordinary accomplishments in defending the Okefenokee Nationwide Wildlife Refuge in Georgia from the specter of mining operations and their unwavering dedication to conservation.

The Refuge Advocate of the 12 months Award honors people or teams which have made vital contributions to the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System and acknowledges impactful advocacy efforts defending refuges from exterior forces. The 2024 Wildlife Refuge Awards celebration and ceremony might be held on Wednesday, September 18th at 5:30 pm on the prestigious Mayflower Resort in Washington, D.C. Media protection of this occasion is very inspired.

“Since its inception, the Okefenokee Safety Alliance has been on the forefront of efforts to safeguard the Okefenokee Nationwide Wildlife Refuge from the devastating impacts of proposed mining operations,” stated Geoffrey L. Haskett, President of the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation. “Their relentless advocacy, revolutionary public engagement methods, and collaboration with various stakeholders have been instrumental in elevating consciousness and considerably difficult the mining risk.”

The Okefenokee Safety Alliance was fashioned in response to a proposed titanium dioxide sand mining operation by Twin Pines Minerals, which posed a major risk to the refuge’s hydrology and wildlife habitats. OPA’s accomplishments embody:

  • Advocacy & Public Assist: OPA has spearheaded efforts to rally public assist in opposition to the mining risk, leading to practically 100,000 public feedback submitted to the Georgia Environmental Safety Division throughout the preliminary remark interval. This unprecedented stage of public engagement has raised vital consciousness concerning the mining risk.

  • Revolutionary Public Engagement: OPA produced the documentary “Sacred Waters: The Okefenokee in Peril,” which has been proven throughout Georgia and the Southeast, educating the general public concerning the potential impacts of the proposed mining. The documentary has additionally been featured in nationwide and worldwide movie festivals, additional amplifying the message.

  • Collaborative Efforts: OPA has efficiently united over 40 conservation organizations, creating a strong coalition that collectively advocates for the safety of the Okefenokee. Their collaborative efforts have resulted in securing resolutions of assist from 14 cities and counties in Georgia, representing over 1.1 million residents.

  • Lowering The Menace: OPA’s persistent advocacy and public strain have led to a considerable discount within the proposed mine’s footprint from 2,414 acres to 586 acres. Whereas the risk has not been utterly eradicated, the decreased footprint and heightened public scrutiny have considerably mitigated the potential affect.

The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation has been actively concerned with OPA from the onset of the mining risk. The Affiliation has labored alongside OPA to guard Okefenokee Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and stays dedicated to stopping the mining risk to make sure the refuge’s conservation.

The Okefenokee Safety Alliance exemplifies the ability of grassroots advocacy and collaboration. Their dedication to defending the Okefenokee is an inspiration to conservationists all over the place, and their success demonstrates what might be achieved by persistent and united efforts.

Be part of us in celebrating the excellent achievements of the Okefenokee Safety Alliance on the 2024 Wildlife Refuge Awards.


The Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation is a non-profit group devoted to defending, selling, and enhancing the 850-million-acre Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s largest community of lands and waters put aside for wildlife conservation.

For all media inquiries and questions, please contact Eden Taylor, Communications Supervisor at etaylor@refugeassociation.org.

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