Tipped off by a local member of the Board of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), I looked up this Suwannee River Headwaters Land and Water Protection project.
These acquisitions would protect most of both banks of the Suwannee River from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to Fargo, which is in turn more than a third of the Suwannee River proper in Georgia (below the East and Middle Forks to the GA-FL line).
Here is the map from the GA-EPD document.
The white notch near the Refuge boundary is Griffis Fish Camp.
I’m guessing the label for Stephen C. Foster State Park in the southwest corner is because of the Suwannee River Eco-Lodge, considering that most of that Park is northeast off that map, as you can see from the WWALS map.
Richard E. Dunn, Director
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION
CATEGORICAL EXCLUSION DETERMINATION
Suwannee River Headwaters Land and Water Protection
The Conservation Fund
(Ware and Clinch Counties)
GEFA Loan No. LC-2021-002
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has conducted a review of the above project in accordance with the State’s Environmental Review Process (SERP). EPD has determined that this project is eligible for a categorical exclusion. Accordingly, no further environmental review is planned.
The proposed project consists of the acquisition of approximately 8,845 acres along the southeastern side of the Suwannee River at the headwaters from the Okefenokee Swamp for habitat and water quality protection.
This project is eligible for a categorical exclusion because it meets the following specific eligibility criteria: habitat protection/restoration and surface water protection/restoration. Furthermore: the project will not create a new or relocate an existing discharge to surface or ground waters; the project will not substantially increase the volume of discharge or loading of pollutants; the project will not provide capacity to serve a population 30% greater than the existing population; the project will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment; the action will not directly or indirectly affect cultural resources, habitats of endangered or threatened species, or environmentally important natural resource areas; and the action is cost-effective and should cause no significant public controversy.
This determination becomes effective after thirty (30) days following its distribution by EPD. This exclusion may be revoked at any time if: 1) the project is altered and no longer meets the requirements of a categorical exclusion, 2) new evidence shows that serious environmental issues exist, or 3) a local, State or Federal law is being or may be violated.
The information which supports this decision is on file with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and is available for public review upon request. A copy of the proposed project documentation is also available for review with The Conservation Fund.
All interested agencies, groups and persons supporting or disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit comments within thirty (30) days of the publish date of this notice via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the following address:
Georgia Environmental Protection Division
Watershed Protection Branch
Wastewater Regulatory Program
ATTN: Kelli-Ann Sottile
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 1152 East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
After evaluating the comments received, EPD will make a final decision regarding approval of the project. No administrative action will be taken on the project for thirty (30) calendar days after publication of this Notice.
Richard E. Dunn, Director
Environmental Protection Division
Publish Date; June 22, 2021
I would guess this is related to the Fish and Wildlife Service, et al., Suwannee Headwaters Project. I left a few messages to find out.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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