Okefenokee Swamp needs support to survive

The Great Okefenokee Swamp is in danger from Titanium mining.

In the New York Times, Margaret Renkl shares about the wonders and importance of the Okefenokee to Georgia, Florida and all of us who care about habitat loss and its destruction of God’s ecosystem.

“The Okefenokee is one of the great natural wonders of this country. Its 438,000 acres — nearly 700 square miles — spill over the Florida line to make up the largest ecologically intact blackwater swamp we have. Its diverse ecosystems include marsh, upland forest, prairie, cypress swamp and an intricate labyrinth of waterways.

The refuge supports 620 plant species and provides habitat for an immense range of wildlife: at least 50 mammal species, including black bears, otters and bobcats; 234 species of birds; 64 species of reptiles (including, of course, alligators); and 37 species of amphibians, the most vulnerable wildlife class there is. Several of the plants and creatures in the Okefenokee are rare or in trouble.

It’s also important to note that wetlands sequester immense amounts of carbon. Over time, waterlogged plants that don’t completely decompose will compact beneath the water to form peat. Across the globe, peatlands store twice as much carbon as forests do. Unmolested, then, the Okefenokee is a massive carbon sink. If all that peat is disturbed, the reverse will be true, releasing ancient carbon into the atmosphere instead of safely storing it under the dark water. It’s not too much to say that to endanger the Okefenokee would be to endanger the whole world.”

What can you do?  Write to the Georgia EPA.  You don’t have to be a resident of Georgia to comment.  Use this link to The Nature Conservancy to post your comments.

Mary Blackburn, Creation Care Advocate.