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On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court iss

June 18, 2015

On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling on a critical issue for Georgia’s state waters. This case was initiated by GRN in 2012. The court’s disappointing and narrow decision asserts only state waters with “wrested vegetation”—or clearly defined beds and banks—are entitled to protection from land disturbing activities by 25-foot vegetative buffers as set forth in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act (1975). In anticipation of this week’s unfortunate Supreme Court ruling, GRN worked with our Georgia Water Coalition partners to secure passage of Senate Bill 101 to restore coastal marsh buffer protections that were lost on Earth Day 2014. SB 101 passed both chambers and will establish a 25-foot buffer in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act to specifically protect only the coastal marsh from sediment pollution. On Thursday, June 18, the Environmental Protection Division will launch a stakeholder process in Brunswick to revise rules and regulations associated with the Erosion and Sedimentation Act as required by SB 101. The bottom line: SB 101 protects the coastal marsh while the Supreme Court decision leaves thousands of miles Georgia’s waters that flow to the coast without protections. There is more work to be done to protect Georgia’s waters that lack wrested vegetation. Please read more on the Georgia Water Wire blog. http://ow.ly/i/bndzh

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