Central Georgia is blessed with a healthy and sustainable environment, but there are still challenges that need to be addressed in order to protect the state's air, water, and soil. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is committed to preserving the environment and has taken steps to ensure its protection. One such initiative is CoastFest, an annual celebration of coastal conservation and education that takes place on Earth Day. The DNR also runs a youth bird watching competition and a T-shirt art contest to raise awareness about the importance of conservation.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to help them conserve soil and other natural resources. The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is responsible for protecting Georgia's air, land, and water resources through the authority of state and federal environmental laws. The Air Protection Branch of the EPD regulates emissions from industrial and mobile sources. The Georgia Community Green Space Program was created in 2000 to encourage the adoption of policies and regulations that would preserve green space in fast-growing counties.
The Regional Conservation Partnerships Program (RCPP) funds solutions to natural resource challenges on farmland. Affirmative action in Georgia seeks to increase the proportion of historically disadvantaged minority groups in employers and universities. Georgia's water resources are under increasing pressure due to population growth, making water conservation a major environmental issue. The Watershed Protection Branch of the EPD works to protect and restore Georgia's water resources.
Public pensions are also managed by the state government to provide retirement benefits for state and local government employees. Finally, federal land policy involves the conservation and management of natural resources on land owned by the federal government. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Division, Air Protection Branch, Georgia Community Green Space Program, Regional Conservation Partnerships Program, Affirmative Action, Watershed Protection Branch, Public Pensions, and Federal Land Policy are all important components of protecting Central Georgia's natural resources for a sustainable future. Through these initiatives, we can ensure that our environment remains healthy for generations to come.