by: Dr. Thomas J. Manning
This web page is the result of an Honors (HON399) class at Valdosta State University. There are fifteen undergraduates from a variety of majors in this class.
The two credit seminar course is centered around stewardship and the environmental movement. We are studying Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring and references cited within. This classic literary work is held up as an excellent example of responsible stewardship in taking a stance on an environmental issue. This web page is the HON399 class's attempt to contribute to the controversy described below.
Dupont has purchased or leased 38,000 acres of land in an area east of the Okefenokee swamp known as Trail Ridge. Dupont wants to strip-mine the mineral rutile (titanium IV oxide) from the area starting in the year 2002. Dupont currently has a strip mine serving the same purpose in Stark, Florida. This operation is approximately 80 miles south of the Okefeenokee. The Okefeenokee Swamp is a National Park in southeast Georgia and many fear the strip mine will adversely affect its ecosystems. The Okefeenokee swamp is the headwaters for the Suwanee River, which flows through Florida and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Bruce Babbitt, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, recently gave a speech at the Okefeenokee Swamp condemning the mining. One week later Dupont postponed (not terminated) their plans for the mine.
Dupont, which has a strong history of responsible citizenship, claims the
mine will not impact the swamp.
This page provides background on a variety of topics related to the Dupont-Okefeenokee Swamp controversy. To get a first hand feel for the topic the class did a one day canoe tour through the swamp and an overnight canoe trip down the Suwanee. We do not draw a conclusion on the potential impact of the mining but we, as a class, can assure you that the Okefeenokee Swamp and Suwanee river are a pristine treasure worth saving.