The Coastal Marshlands Protection Act at 50

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act. To mark this important milestone we have put out a new edition of Reid Harris’s And the Coastlands Wait: How the Grassroots Battle to Save Georgia’s Marshlands Was Fought—and Won. Below is President Carter’s foreword outlining just why the law was so important.

Additionally, we’ve just released Saving the Georgia Coast: A Political History of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act by historian and former Georgia legislator Paul Bolster about the act. In addition to laying out the remarkable history of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act, Bolster’s book looks at the current state of the coast and how this remarkable law continues to aid in the conservation of Georgia’s coast. Below in the first video in a series, Bolster talks about his book, how the law was passed, and its legacy. Both books are available for 50% off in our “Shelter with a Good Book Sale” with sale code 08UGAP at checkout.

harris_and-the-coastlands-wait“My first introduction to Reid Harris was when I was a Georgia senator and he was in the Georgia House of Representatives. While his interests always have been diverse—protecting the environment, preserving the separation of powers doctrine, and providing a forum for the practice of the theater arts, to name a few—his work to protect our natural resources has been areal inspiration to me.As one of the nation’s first elected officials to express concern about the environment, Harris authored the 1968 Georgia Surface Mining Act, which protects the landscape from the ravages of strip mining. Then, facing strong opposition from many of his constituents, he fought single handedly to protect over a half million acres of one of the world’s most productive areas,the Georgia Marshlands. In a truly heroic struggle, he guided the Coastal Marshlands Act of 1970 in its convoluted passage through the House and Senate. The law has stood the test of time and become a model for estuarine protection. His public service demonstrates what one person can do.I believe Reid Harris’s book not only will be instructive for those interested in our natural resources, but also captivating to anyone who reads it.” —President Jimmy Carter, from the foreword of And the Coastlands Wait

Bolster_Saving the Georgia Coast“In the frontispiece of this book is a shocking map. It shows the environmentally protected land on the Georgia Coast. Viewed in its entirety, the extent of coastal wildland is incredible, as well as heartwarming and inspiring. This surprising book is an insider look at how Georgia’s crown jewel came to be-a lesson from the past and an important template for the future. Paul Bolster has written a carefully researched, character-driven, and comprehensive environmental history of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act. It is an eye-opening labor of love.”—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Drifting into Darien


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