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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has taken an important step toward addressing the state's water needs with the hiring of a state water conservation coordinator.
Mary A. Elfner, who most recently served as Executive Director of the Coastal Georgia Land Trust in Savannah, has accepted the position and will begin work July 1, 2002.
Elfner has an extensive background in the fields of environmental planning and conservation. She served as water conservation planner for the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission. Elfner began her career as a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"As the Water Conservation Coordinator for DNR, Mary will lead the state in conservation efforts at every level, including policy changes to encourage incentives for local water conservation initiatives," said DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett.
Water management issues in Georgia have become a major DNR priority as the state continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.
"As Georgia faces increasing and often competing demands for a limited water supply, the Board of Natural Resources has properly recognized that water conservation must become an integral component of water resource management," Barrett said.
Elfner earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C., and holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Wildlife Biology from the University of Georgia's D.B. Warnell School of Forestry.