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Oversight Hearing on Ownership Rights Concerning the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1171 and S. 363
Thursday, December 15, 2011 10:00 AM
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs
1324 Longworth House Office Building

1324 Longworth House Office Building
Thursday, December 15, 2011
10:00 a.m.


  • Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge and How the Federal Government Obtained Title to This Land and Promises Made to the Original Landowners.


  • H.R. 1171 (Farr), To reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act. "Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments of 2011"
  • S. 363 (Wicker), A bill to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to convey property of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the City of Pascagoula, Mississippi, and for other purposes.


The Honorable John Fleming


Panel I (H.R. 1171)

The Honorable Sam Farr (CA)
Member of Congress

Panel II (Oversight on Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge)

The Honorable Jack Kingston (GA)
Member of Congress

Cindy Dohner
Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dorothy Bambach
Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges
(Truth in Testimony Form)

David Kelly
Project Coordinator
Harris Neck Land Trust
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Wilson Moran
Direct Descendent of Mr. Robert Dellagall
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Reverend Robert Thorpe
Peaceful Zion Church
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Evelyn Greer
Board Member
Harris Neck Land Trust
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Winston Relaford
Board Member
Harris Neck Land Trust
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Panel III (H.R. 1171 and S. 363)

Dr. Holly Bamford
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Dr. Paul Gilman
Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
Covanta Energy Corporation
(Truth in Testimony Form)


The focus of the oversight hearing is to obtain the views of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Harris Neck Land Trust and descendants of those who owned this property on whether the Harris Neck property or some portion of that property, is now contained within the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge; whether this land should be returned to its former residents and their descendants; whether all property owners were compensated in a fair and equitable manner; and what steps can be taken to address what the Harris Neck Land Trust believes is a gross miscarriage of justice.

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