The Savannah Morning News took a swipe at the proposed Spaceport Camden in Camden County Georgia this week in an article titled: Public comments slam coastal Georgia spaceport proposal. In the article, author Mary Landers wrote that “More than 15,000 people and organizations commented to the Federal Aviation Administration about its draft Environmental Impact Statement on Spaceport Camden… For comparison, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental impact statement on the deepening of the Savannah harbor drew about 1,100 comments when it was released in 2010. “
However, buried in Landers article was the revelation that the overwhelming majority of these comments were submitted from environmental activists who do not live on the coast or even in Georgia. Landers admits “Nearly 11,000 of the comments came as email form letters from the National Parks Conservation Association, which alerted its more than one million members to the threats it sees the spaceport posing to the wilderness experience on Cumberland. More than 4,400 email form letters came from another pro-wilderness group, Wilderness Watch…”
With 1.3 million members, less than 1% of the total membership of the National Parks Conservation Association, presumably the most active environmentalist in the country, actually engaged on behalf of their organization by submitting a pre-written email to the FAA. Despite the objections from environmentalists, Spaceport Camden enjoys near universal political support. All 14 members of the Georgia House of Representatives delegation, both US Senators and Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle submitted letters of support to the FAA.
Jeanne Seaver is a grassroots activist in Georgia who has been working in the aviation industry for the past two decades.