Care about Coastal Georgia and the environment?

So do we. That’s why we are launching our weekly newsletter Coast Watch that will bring you unique facts and highlight threats facing human and natural habitats along our 100-mile coastline. If you have feedback, questions, concerns, or just like what you see, let us know at thecurrentga@gmail.com.

SAFE TO SWIM?

In Coastal Georgia, you may have seen a water quality advisory issued at South Beach near the lighthouse on St. Simons Island. That’s part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division’s rigorous water sampling and testing program that looks for the bacteria enterococcus, a health threat. This program is sustained with grants from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, money that Georgia has received from the EPA annually since 2001. We broke down how the testing program works and why the EPA issues these grants so you’ll know how you can stay safe swimming this summer. 


BEACH ADVISORIES: As of this writing, there is an advisory for north beach on Jekyll Island. It is not related to the Golden Ray wreck removal, according to state Department of Public Health advisory.
Before you head to the beach, check the link to see current notices.

SMALL WORLD MOMENT

Coastal Georgia got a taste of international relations last week when the UK’s Southeast Consul General, Andrew Staunton met with Mayor Van Johnson, World Trade Center Savannah and other local Savannah organizations to discuss Brexit and economic development. The British diplomat also sat down with The Current to discuss climate policy and climate finance, topics that will dominate November’s COP26 international climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the next setting where world leaders will meet to assess the progress being made towards the Paris Agreement. Heads of the world’s biggest economies drew criticism earlier this month at a G7 conference for not solidifying climate finance targets. Staunton’s main points? Climate change is everyone’s problem, and it’ll take collaboration from international finance, business and government leaders to solve it. 

A CALL FOR DAILY DECISIONS

Staunton also mentioned that climate finance and other related negotiations have been slowed by COVID-19, an observation backed by Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development, in a recent interview with InsideClimate News. The loss of momentum due to the pandemic will make it harder to stay below the 1.5 degrees warming threshold. He also said that the urgency of climate change requires making decisions and progress every day, at every level of international diplomacy. 

CAN GEORGIA PAY IT FORWARD?

Interested in a meaty policy report on sustainable energy solutions in America? Look no further than a new report which argues that 100% renewable energy is feasible in Georgia. Written by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the report studied what needs to be done in the Southeast United States to reach President Joe Biden’s goal of switching to renewable energy by 2035, a goal set to help spur action against climate change. SACE found that if Georgia Power and other utilities start expanding solar, wind and energy efficiency programs now, the Peach State may be able to reach the target. What’s left out of the report: a price tag for these changes. SACE, however, argues that the cost of failure has its own price tag, primarily from the impact of climate change-induced severe storms, and those costs could exceed the amount of spending needed to offset climate threats.


SHARE YOUR FISHING INFO

On a final note: a question. Are you a recreational saltwater angler? NOAA Fisheries is conducting a social network analysis that will identify relationships, networks, and information flow within the recreational fishing community, and needs your help to complete it. If you’re willing to discuss where you go for information about fishing, how you share that information with others, as well as your attitudes, beliefs, and opinions on state, regional, and federal fisheries management agencies, call (305) 968-7136 or email information@anglersurveys.com


SHIP WATCH: What’s arriving and when. This week’s lineup includes the Explorer class CGM CMA Laperouse arriving on June 28. It’s 1,199 feet, 1.764 inches long and 167 feet, 11.784 inches wide, and it carries 13,344 TEUs, aka containers, according to VesselTracker.com.

Want to help The Current cover public interest environmental news? We’re hiring a new reporter, thanks to the generosity of two donors, The Dobbs Family Foundation and the Bobolink Foundation. Send your info to thecurrentga@gmail.com.


New grant funds tests to keep Georgia beaches safe

So far this year, 19 water quality advisories have been issued: five on Tybee Island, eight on St. Simon’s Island and six on Jekyll Island. The most recent advisory was issued on June 15 at South Beach near the lighthouse on St. Simons Island, which has had four total advisories, the most of […]

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UK views on Georgia climate, business, connected coastlines

UK consul general says economic viability, partnerships in Southeast crucial to climate sustainability.

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Report finds 100% renewable energy feasible in Georgia

To make up for coal and gas, Georgia Power and its fellow utilities under Southern Company would have to expand solar and wind, as well as energy efficiency programs, starting now.

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Environmentalists bank on state regulators to stop Okefenokee mine

Twin Pines President Steve Ingle said last week his company would not rush sending the final pieces of its application to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division even after the Biden administration announced this month that it will revisit a rule that removed federal protections from wetlands surrounding the proposed south Georgia mining site.

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The Tide: Fort Stewart gets notice for woodpecker work

The birds require mature longleaf pine forests and live in cavities they hollow out of old longleaf pine trees. In addition to controlled burns and tagging the birds, the Army post also installed about 4,000 artificial cavity boxes on the trunks of mature trees.

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Ship Watch

This week’s scheduled vessels for Georgia Ports Authority.

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