Marsh buffer bill sent to governor

The Senate gave final approval Friday to legislation re-establishing a 25-foot buffer around the state’s marshes.

Senate Bill 101, which has been subject to a see-saw battle between developers and environmentalists, now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.

The measure would give the state power to review projects that gain federal permits. More importantly to environmentalists, however, is that lawmakers have received a promise from the state’s Environmental Protection Division to prevent property owners from building make-shift bulkheads along the marsh.

The buffers are considered important because they help reduce erosion and filter land-based pollutants such as fertilizer and insecticides that threaten the state’s environmentally sensitive coastal habitat.