Natural Resources of the State of Georgia

Instructor: Sarah Friedl

Sarah has two Master's, one in Zoology and one in GIS, a Bachelor's in Biology, and has taught college level Physical Science and Biology.

Have you ever visited Georgia? If you didn't think there was anything in the state to visit, you'll probably think differently after reading this lesson about the abundant and diverse natural resources there.

State of Georgia

The Beatles may have been talking about the country of Georgia in their song ''Back in the USSR,'' but today I want to talk with you about the state of Georgia, right here in the USA!

Georgia is a state in the southeastern part of the country, bordered by Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River, and the capital of Georgia is Atlanta, which is home to over 440,000 people. Georgia is also home to the second-oldest city in America, Saint Marys, was home to Blackbeard the pirate at one time, and was named for King George II. What I find most amazing, though, is that Gainesville, Georgia, is the ''Chicken Capital'' of the world, but it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork there!

But in addition to all of these interesting facts, Georgia is also a very cool place because it falls within the Appalachian mountain range, and boasts over 100 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, with acres and acres of farmland and forest in between. With so much to explore, you can probably guess that the natural resources of Georgia are diverse and widespread. And you're right!

Natural Resources of Georgia

So what are these natural resources? Well, with so much coastline there is plenty of wildlife viewing in marshes and on barrier islands, especially for birders. You probably guessed there's abundant fishing along the coast, but fishing is also a strong resource of the many inland rivers and lakes, which are resources themselves. Boating, kayaking, sailing, and other recreational activities make these waters important to the state, as do the hydroelectric power and drinking water they generate. With over 1 million acres of public hunting lands, the outdoors of Georgia provide good hunting opportunities for many different types of wild game. The many parks and protected areas provide great opportunities for hiking and camping, as well as wildlife viewing.

Fishing is just one of the many natural resources of Georgia.
fishing in Georgia

In between the mountains and the coast, Georgia has thousands of acres of farmland. These abundant lands produce lots of different crops such as corn, cotton, peanuts, peaches, pecans, soybeans, and tobacco. However, much of the land in Georgia is used for pine lumber -- a whopping 60% of the state is pine forest! In fact, Georgia has so much pine that it has more commercially forested land than any other state in the country.

Georgia is famous for its peaches, just one of many crops the state produces.
peaches

What about rock and mineral resources? Georgia has those, too! Clay, sand, gravel, coal, copper, and marble are just a few of the ''underground'' resources known to Georgia. A special type of clay called kaolin is one of Georgia's most important mineral resources, with over 8 million metric tons mined from the state each year.

Kaolin is an important natural resource for Georgia. Every year, over 8 million tons are mined from the state.
kaolin

Natural Resource Management

Of course, there has to be someone to manage all of these natural resources in the state, and in fact there are several different programs within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, that are tasked with this challenge. Overall, the DNR is responsible for management of natural resources across the state, but because there are so many different types of resources to manage, they have different divisions that can focus on each one.

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