Press Release Dec 20, 2021

FAA Greenlights Construction of Dangerous Spaceport at Cumberland Island

"Building Camden Spaceport is unacceptable and opens the door to further destruction." -- NPCA's Emily Jones

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced their plans to approve permit applications for Camden Spaceport, exposing Cumberland Island National Seashore to the dangers of heavy industrial construction, future rocket launches and explosions.

Since 2015, county officials have lobbied hard to build and operate a commercial space launch site a few miles from Cumberland Island, despite the serious risks rocket launches pose to public safety, air and water quality, historic structures, and wildlife at this national park site.

This decision comes after years of fierce opposition to the project from the National Parks Conservation Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, and local community partners like One Hundred Miles and the Little Cumberland Island Homeowners Association. At countless public meetings and rallies, concerned citizens and advocates stood up for Cumberland Island National Seashore – one of 11 prized national park sites in Georgia.

The safety of visitors and protection of invaluable natural and cultural resources are of paramount importance at our national parks – including 17 miles of uninterrupted, undeveloped beach, maritime forest and marshland. Beyond that, the logistical challenges an active spaceport poses to a national park site, including closures, evacuations, and vacation cancellations present a nightmare scenario for park staff, visitors, and local businesses.

The National Parks Conservation Association and allies will continue to fight this inappropriate development.

Statement by Emily Jones, Southeast Regional Director for The National Parks Conservation Association:

“Blasting rocket ships over national parks threatens visitor safety, wildlife and the very values for which Cumberland Island National Seashore was protected. Our national parks were set aside for the enjoyment of all – not a select few. Building Camden Spaceport is unacceptable and opens the door to further destruction. The potential damage to sights, sounds and overall experience at the remote barrier island national park would forever scar the landscape and waterways surrounding it.

“For years, the National Parks Conservation Association has stood firm against Camden Spaceport, which would be a blight on an iconic national park site in Georgia and the precious resources it protects, including one of the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the country. In addition to the harmful impacts to the park itself, this project poses a serious threat to the local economy created by national park visitors and hardworking vendors, outfitters, and many local businesses.”

“Smoke, fire, and tremendous noise from rocket launches, along with burning debris from potential crash landings would be catastrophic for an island teeming with wildlife and rich in diverse history dating back 4,000 years, including early communities founded by formerly enslaved people.

“What’s the legacy we’re leaving for future generations? We’ll continue to fight to ensure Cumberland Island remains protected for all.”

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.

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