Cumberland Island National Seashore / Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

GA - Multiple Partner Make Possible Valuable Land Purchase in Camden County

More than 24,000 new acres serving as a critical buffer to the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, as well as Cumberland Island National Seashore, will be available for southeast Georgia outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to the partnership efforts of multiple agencies, groups, and individuals.

An additional 3,000 acres were protected by a conservation easement co-held by the State and Navy, bringing the total acres protected to 27,000. These groups gathered today to celebrate the acquisition of these important properties, known as Ceylon Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and which includes property formerly part of Cabin Bluff.

“We are incredibly fortunate to be able to obtain these extraordinary properties and now will be able to manage them for the benefit of our citizens,” said Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams. “It cannot be emphasized enough that the purchase of these properties would not have been possible without the support and investment of all of our dedicated partners.”

These new properties include longleaf pine uplands, maritime forest, freshwater wetlands, and tidal salt marsh wetlands. Protecting them will allow for the expansion of a fire-managed longleaf pine ecosystem beneficial to the gopher tortoise, and other imperiled species and allow Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to offer more public recreation lands.

This area is home to multiple game species, at least 10 federally listed, candidate and petitioned species, and 24 State-protected, rare, or species of concern, including 4 viable gopher tortoise populations, wood stork, Florida manatee, the bald eagle, painted bunting and, the hooded pitcher plant. With restoration, Cabin Bluff and Ceylon will also provide future habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Funding for the purchase of the properties was made possible by multiple partners (state and federal agencies, conservation groups, private foundations, and others) through conservation easements, grants (federal and private) and the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program. Following are comments from some of these involved and integral partners:

US Navy (Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program) "The collaboration between Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and the REPI partners resulted in the protection of more than 27,000-acres of land known as Cabin Bluff and Ceylon," said Capt. Chester Parks, commanding officer of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

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