About Natural Resources In Georgia
Georgia is one of the most naturally diverse states in the country, ranging from the ridges and valleys of northwest Georgia to thousands of acres of farmlands in the south to the marshlands along the coast. More than 9 million people also live in Georgia, which often creates challenges for natural resource management. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is charged with conserving and managing the state’s natural resources, including air and water quality, water quantity, fish and wildlife, land conservation and other areas. DNR takes a variety of approaches to achieve these goals.
For more information on Georgia's natural resources, click here.
DNR Natural Resources Conservation & Management Programs
The Coastal Resources Division is responsible for the conservation and management of natural resources along Georgia’s 11-county coastal region. The Georgia Coastal Management Program seeks to balance economic development in Georgia's coastal zone with preservation of natural, environmental, historic, archaeological, and recreational resources for the benefit of Georgia's present and future generations. In addition, the Coastal Resources Division also oversees permitting for the coastal region, manages saltwater commercial and recreational fishing, and monitors water quality.
The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is charged with protecting Georgia's air, land, and water resources through the authority of state and federal environmental statutes. These laws regulate public and private facilities in the areas of air quality, water quality, hazardous waste, water supply, solid waste, surface mining, underground storage tanks, and others. EPD issues and enforces all state permits in these areas and has full delegation for federal environmental permits except Section 404 (wetland) permits. To learn more about EPD’s responsibilities, click here.
Fish & Wildlife Management
The Wildlife Resources Division oversees the conservation and management of Georgia’s wildlife and the enforcement of wildlife laws in Georgia. Programs are focused on game animals, sport fish and nongame wildlife, which includes threatened and endangered species. In addition, technical assistance is provided to individual and corporate landowners for the management of wildlife on their property. Outstanding wildlife management programs result in quality hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the state.
DNR manages over one million acres of public land in state parks, natural areas, public fishing areas and wildlife management areas. These properties are managed to protect and conserve Georgia’s diverse wildlife populations. Statewide planning initiatives, including the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) identify land conservation as a top priority to provide quality outdoor recreational opportunities and to protect wildlife diversity. DNR also handles the certification for the Conservation Tax Credit Program and works closely with the Georgia Land Conservation Program, which is administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.
Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division
During the past few years, the State Parks Division has created a Resource Management Unit. Prescribed burns have been used to improve the health of natural communities. Non-native invasive-exotic species such have been reduced, allowing native species to thrive. Where the deer population has been overabundant, quota hunts have been used improve botanical and ecological health of the eco-system.
Sustainable Business Assistance
The Sustainability Division provides free assistance to help Georgia’s businesses and organizations realize cost savings through increased efficiencies. Non-regulatory and confidential technical assistance is offered in the areas of water conservation, energy conservation, waste reduction, by-product reuse, and recycling. Green Growth Guidelines also are available through the Georgia Coastal Management Plan.
Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia
Free and open to any organization in Georgia, the Sustainability Division created the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia to foster environmental leadership and recognize superior environmental performance. Partners receive free assistance to set and meet environmental goals, opportunities to connect with other leaders, and recognition for sustainability efforts.
Sustainable Office Toolkit
The Sustainable Office Toolkit is an online toolkit developed by the Sustainability Division to help offices of all types and size move toward sustainability. Resources and tools help organizations develop and improve environmental programs through practices such as energy and water conservation, recycling, and green building.