Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conserve Georgia Renews Commitment To Creating a Culture of Conservation

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Clark Unveils Web Site and Social Media Program at Georgia Environmental Conference

Note: Hopefully this is one of those "better late than never" stories... we missed it back on Aug. 27th but thought it was worth sliding on here. Wish we'd watched our inbox a little closer that day! - NFNG

Conserve Georgia, Governor Perdue’s statewide initiative charged with helping create a culture of conservation throughout Georgia, is renewing its call to preserve the state’s natural resources at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual Georgia Environmental Conference in Savannah. An updated www.ConserveGeorgia.org Web site, a new social media program, and outreach plans for local government and business organizations are being introduced to business and civic leaders from throughout the state.

“Georgia’s natural resources are finite and precious, so we must all do our part to preserve them for future generations,” said Chris Clark, Chair of the Conserve Georgia Council and Commissioner of Natural Resources. “Whether you’re interested in recycling, land management, air quality, wildlife, or water and energy conservation, ConserveGeorgia.org is a single portal to find information about caring for and enjoying our state’s natural resources. In order to better communicate with Georgians, we also have started communicating directly through our new Facebook page.”

Conserve Georgia is a public information program that is composed of 10 state partner agencies which manage dozens of conservation-oriented programs, ranging from the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia to waterSmart. Conserve Georgia also is working through the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), the regional growth authorities, and youth organizations to inform Georgians about the program and how their members can take a more active part in preserving Georgia.

Some of the programs that Conserve Georgia brings together include:

· Backyard Composting, Zero Waste at Work and regional recycling collection hubs that are operated through the Georgia Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA);

· Wildlife, forest, coastal, water, air and land management and preservation programs that are managed and operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its Environmental Protection Division (EPD);

· The Governor’s Energy Challenge, which directs all state agencies to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent by 2020 and has challenged Georgia businesses, local governments and citizens to do the same, and the funding of conservation and green energy initiatives through the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), including projects that receive dollars from the federal stimulus program; and

· The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) Adopt-A-Highway, Litter Control and Wildflower programs.

“The choices we make as individuals have a significant, collective impact on our state’s natural resources,” continued Clark. “That’s why Governor Perdue and the Conserve Georgia partner agencies are challenging all Georgians to participate in conservation programs.”

Visitors to www.ConserveGeorgia.org can access dozens of state and public/private conservation initiatives while navigating through 3-D scenes of Georgia’s varied natural environment: urban life, rural Georgia, the north Georgia mountains and coastal Georgia. The site is user-driven, allowing each visitor to select the kind of content they want to see based on their interest as an individual, business, educator, agribusiness or local government entity.

3-D elements provide a virtual-world experience complete with the ability to have some virtual fun – visitors can watch crops grow during the irrigation process, throw another log on the campfire, or pick up trash and deposit it in a receptacle. The site’s functionality is designed to get Georgians more engaged, form a tighter connection with Conserve Georgia and retain more information.

Conserve Georgia’s new presence on Facebook.com also engages Georgians in an online environment in which they are already currently active. Georgians who become a “fan” of Conserve Georgia on Facebook.com will receive information about conservation-related events and programs as well as seasonal conservation tips.

Conserve Georgia partner agencies include the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the University System of Georgia (USG), the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC), the Department of Education (DOE), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

A Culture of ConservationThe Conserve Georgia program was developed to foster a culture of conservation throughout the state of Georgia. Nearly a dozen state agencies and authorities are working together with businesses, civic leaders, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and residents to make Georgia’s air, land, water, energy and wildlife resources more sustainable now and for generations to come. The program’s Web site – www.ConserveGeorgia.org – serves as a portal to help Georgians find information on a wide range of conservation resources and programs.
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