The Georgia Coastal Management Program participates in the national Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) as administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2005, the State developed a Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Plan to compliment existing land protection efforts in the coastal region. The Plan identifies conservation priorities for land acquisition that tailors the national program to the State’s coastal conservation needs. Georgia’s CELCP Plan also gives clear guidance for the nomination and selection of land conservation projects within the State’s coastal boundary.
Georgia's CELCP Projects
In October 2007, the Georgia Coastal Management Program received $1,149,271 from the NOAA Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to assist with the acquisition of a 4,100+ acre tract along the Altamaha River in McIntosh County. The Altamaha Sand Ridges property is a landscape of sand hills and bottom lands, and is home to the long-leaf pine, gopher tortoises, and the globally-imperiled Radford Dicerandra (Dicerandra radfordiana) which is found only in the Altamaha River sand ridges. The property was purchased by the state of Georgia on May 20, 2008.
In July 2010, the Georgia Coastal Management Program received $1,537,425 from the NOAA Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to assist with the acquisition of a 6,860-acre+ tract along the Altamaha River in Long County. The property stretches for 10-miles adjacent to the lower Altamaha River and floodplain, one of the most valuable ecological corridors in Georgia, and is a landscape of sand hills and bottom lands. On September 28, 2010, the State of Georgia purchased this property in its entirety from The Nature Conservancy who purchased it from Rayonier.
Both tracts are now operated as part of the State’s Townsend Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and are under the management of the Department of Natural Resources for the purposes of ecological restoration, stream and wetland protection, wildlife habitat, and public access for hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and camping.
Both of these projects are the result of a partnership between the NOAA/CELCP, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of Defense (Navy/Marine Corps), The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Land Conservation Partnership, and others.
Georgia CELCP Plan
The federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program was established in 2002 to protect coastal and estuarine lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic values. The Program, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides state Coastal Management Programs funds to purchase significant coastal and estuarine lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers. Lands or conservation easements acquired with CELCP funds are protected in perpetuity so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.
To guide the State's participation in this program, Georgia developed the Georgia Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Plan that includes coastal conservation priorities and project areas. More information about the CELCP Program can be found on NOAA's website.
Available Funding Opportunities/Request For Proposals
There are no funding opportunities at this time.