Over 35 miles of the Lower Altamaha River Corridor protected.
In September 2013, a Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) agreement was signed between a landowner and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, providing another area of protected land to the Lower Altamaha River Corridor. Commonly referred to as “Whaley Lake,” the 1,700-acre proposed permanent easement owned by the NeSmith Family Partnership will add to the 35 miles of existing, contiguous protection of the Lower Altamaha River Corridor.
The Lower Altamaha River Corridor, which is identified as a high priority area in the State Wildlife Action Plan, will be protected contiguously by conservation easements or state and federal ownership for over 35 miles, from the Intercostal Waterway near Wolf and Egg Island National Wildlife Refuges all the way up to Griffin Ridge Wildlife Management Area.
This corridor is part of the Fort Stewart/Altamaha Longleaf Partnership priority area as well, which touts partnerships from private landowners to Land Trusts and The Nature Conservancy, to State Governments, including Wildlife Resources and Coastal Resource Divisions of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Forestry Commission to federal agencies, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of the Army and the US Marine Corps.
This easement will significantly benefit the at-risk wildlife species that depend on the Altamaha River Corridor, such as Wood Storks and Bald Eagles, and it will ensure that these habitats are fully restored and protected for the long-term. The level of landscape protection achieved on the Lower Altamaha River Corridor is a model for other high priority areas in our state.
For more information on WRP please visit our Wetlands Program webpage.
The two top photographs are courtesy of Mr. Dink NeSmith. The map on the right is courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Click the below map for a larger image.