I have worked and reworked this blog, posted and deleted, formed and molded, and then abandoned it! Forgive me! There are so many things I have been working on, I have become unraveled here. I will try to do my best to maintain this blog once more.
I have a new mission! Besides my writing business, Idea Bird Communications (find me on Facebook! ; ), I have rededicated myself to my conservation/environmental roots. I am determined to help in the fight for Georgia’s environmental future. Our Department of Natural Resources has been defunded over 40% the last few years and the future of our water, our land, our air, and our people is truly in danger. The Environmental Protection Division, being within the DNR, has faced drastic cuts. Yes, our economy is in such bad shape…you, I, and so many others have felt the terrible blisters from placing our hands inside empty wallets time and time again. But we HAVE to find a way, some way, to protect the health of our land and our people.
Some recent issues I have found very alarming: http://www.gpb.org/news/2011/10/18/new-fish-kill-in-east-georgia, http://www.ajc.com/news/radioactive-water-found-beneath-1192383.html (they did find the source of this leak and fixed it, but how long had it been going on? What are they not telling us?, http://www.gpb.org/news/2011/10/13/outrage-on-the-ogeechee (the biggest fish kill in Georgia history happened this year). These are the ones that made the news recently. Think of all the things that are happening to our environment that we do not know about…
So, this is what I am focusing on. Due to the fact that the funds for the Environmental Protection Division have been so drastically reduced, there are many hazardous sites that are not being monitored or remediated. The funds are just not there. What is that old saying? When the cat’s away…
During the last session of the GA Legislature, House Resolution 112 (HR 112) was introduced. It only made it to second reading, and did not make it to committee. This resolution guaranteed that the funds in the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund would be guaranteed by an amendment to the state constitution. As of now, almost ALL of it is being redirected to the general fund. For example, per the Hazardous Site Index Report in July 2011, the statistics for the monies are as follows: in 2010 Fees/Fines collected were $17,040,195, appropriations to the Trust Fund were $1,970,431, expenditures for clean-ups were $748,549. Out of 17 million dollars, not even a million was designated for clean-ups! Do you see where I am going here?
In the 2011 HSI Report from July, there were 565 sites listed in the state of Georgia. 565. Of those, 60 are in Fulton County alone. (The county where I reside) Without the money being used for its intended purpose, many sites are not being investigated and remediated. Many may be abandoned. Who knows what may be lurking underneath…
My goal is to petition the Georgia Legislature and pressure them in the next session to pass HR 112. We cannot afford to gamble our environmental future away, as well as the health of our citizens. I am continuing to research and figure my “battle plans”, and plan on posting my progress on this blog, as well as my other presence on the web via facebook and twitter, (and I’m still working on my website…)
I will try to keep my pen ablaze~and will post fun stuff and not just scary stuff all the time. Oh, and book recommendations too. Here’s one: http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/drifting_into_darien, ‘Drifting into Darien’ by Georgia author Janisse Ray, author of the award-winning ‘Ecology of a Cracker Childhood’.
It is a personal and natural history of the Altamaha River. I’ve just started it, and am loving it already! I admire her work immensely; her prose is wondrous. One of my favorite lines in ‘Ecology of a Cracker Childhood’ is when she is explaining her experience of old-growth forest:
…I can see my place as human in a natural order more grand, whole, and functional than I’ve ever witnessed, and I am humbled, not frightened, by it. Comforted. It is as if a round table springs up in the cathedral of pines and God graciously pulls out a chair for me, and I no longer have to worry about what happens to souls.
Pure beauty, eh? Wishing you many blessings on your own journeys…as I continue in mine.