Okefenokee Trip, March 1996

David Wolf's Home Page | Sierra Club Environmental Alert | The Photos


Introduction

The pictures from our trip to the Okefenokee Swamp are below. First, there is the text of an environmental alert that the Sierra Club has asked to be included on this page. If you want to help protect this wonderful and unique natural resource, then read on.

By the way, the pictures are fairly detailed, so they do take a few minutes to load at 28.8 bps. Grab a drink and when you get back, the pictures should be viewable.

NEW: I have received a letter from a resident near the Okefenokee Park. He expresses his concern with the environment around the Okefenokee in a most eloquent manner. Don't miss it below.


Okefenokee Swamp Threatened By DuPont Strip Mine

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a biologically rich ecosystem - a vast bog inside a huge saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. Of the 438,000 acres of swamp, approximately 354,000 acres are designated wilderness. It is home to endangered and threatened species including the wood stork, the red cockaded woodpecker, the indigo snake and the parrot pitcher plant. It is also one of the last strongholds of the Florida black bear.

The natural integrity of the Okefenokee, one of the largest and most primitive swamps in America, is in jeopardy. DuPont has plans to mine for titanium on 38,000 acres on Trail Ridge along the eastern boundary of the refuge. The mine will be an "open pit" mine and will be in operation for 50 years. DuPont will begin the process of applying for the necessary permits at any time.

There Are Many Environmental Concerns About the Mining Operation:

The Okefenokee Is Dependent on Water...

Wildlife Habitat is At Risk...

The Mine Will Pollute the Swamp...

DuPont's Environmental Track Record...

WE NEED TO STOP DUPONT BEFORE THEY INVEST TIME AND MONEY IN THE PERMITTING PROCESS

Write letters to DuPont expressing your concerns about this project. Send a copy to us- we need a record of the comments DuPont receives to hold them accountable for their responses and report the volume of concern to the news media.

If you have a little more time, please send copies to President Clinton and Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior.

Important Addresses:

DuPont
John A. Krol
CEO, DuPont Corp.
1007 Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19898
1-800-853-7515

President Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Bruce Babbitt
Department of Interior
1849 C St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20240

Please send a copy to: Okefenokee Campaign
Sierra Club
1447 Peachtree St., suite 305
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 888-9778


Visitor Letter

Here is a letter I received from a visitor to this page. It beautifully conveys what is at stake when risking environmental damage in the Okefenokee. From my visit there, I learned of tremendous destruction of the swamp throughout our history there. For example, none of the ancient, giant Cyprus trees remain, as they were all milled. The swamp is struggling to survive and recover some of what it once was. In Nikki's letter, we see the importance of preserving the Okefenokee for future generations. We also get a sense of friendly the people are in the area. This unique place should not be put at risk.

Nikki's Letter

David,
Hello. My name in Nikki Sofge, I live in Folkston, Ga. It is about ten
minutes away from the Okefenokee Swamp. I have put in approximately 60
hours of volunteer work in the swamp. My age is 15. I feel that DuPont
has potential to be very harmful to the extremely sensitive ecosystem of
our area. If DuPont makes a mistake, our entire area could be damaged.
I will gladly take part in your "campaign" against open-pit mining at
Trail Ridge. I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip to the swamp. Please
visit again if you ever get the chance.

Sincerely,
Nikki Sofge
[5/31/97]


Canoeing on the Okefenokee Swamp
March, 1996

Jen paddling, keeping a sharp lookout for alligators


Billy's Lake, named after Billy


Alligator trying to get some spring sun. Notice the dark resin color of the water


Canoeing through the Cyprus trees of Minnie's Run


The phone booth, marking the end of Minnie's Run on Billy's Lake


Okefenokee Dave with his cane pole and a little bream


All 4 bream that I caught (cute, aren't they?) were returned to the water


The spot the bream was caught (in the center, between the bush and the bank, in the shade) - the only spot anybody caught anything that day!


Aerial view


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