More land on Georgia coast now protected

More land on Georgia coast now protected

(WFXG) - The Nature Conservancy and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced this week that a 3,986 acre tract along Georgia's coast is now under protection.  The tract, a former rice plantation known as Altama, sits along Georgia's Altamaha River in Glynn County near interstate 95 and will become part of the state-owned and managed Altamaha Wildlife Management Area.

According to the Nature Conservancy and DNR, the land features extensive tidal freshwater wetlands and pine flatwoods and provides substantial habitat for wildlife including Georgia's official state reptile, the gopher tortoise, and the federally endangered Eastern indigo snake. Future restoration, including management with prescribed fire and longleaf pine plantings, will improve the native habitats found here.  Along with protecting the river, the land will also expand outdoor recreation opportunities for hunting and fishing on the coast.

"It is our goal to give the citizens of Georgia as many opportunities as possible to enjoy the incredibly diverse natural areas of our state," said Mark Williams, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. "We are excited to open Altama to visitors in the coming year."

Altama was protected through a partnership made up of The Nature Conservancy, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Marine Corps,  with significant assistance from private foundations.

"The Nature Conservancy and many partners have protected more than 140,000 acres in the Altamaha River basin," said Deron Davis, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. "Thanks to our supporters and partners, this important asset to Georgia's natural, outdoor and historical heritage will be protected."