DuPont Co. says it will donate about 16,000 acres of land adjacent to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia to The Conservation Fund, the largest such donation in the history of DuPont's Land Legacy program. The refuge, established in 1937 to preserve the 438,000-acre Okefenokee Swamp, encompasses about 396,000 acres.

DuPont acquired the land several years ago and planned to mine titanium ore from the site, but announced in 1997 that it would defer those plans due to public concerns about the project.

Charles Holliday Jr., DuPont's chairman and CEO, says the donation represents "a concrete example of ‘walking the talk' with regard to our company's commitment to sustainable growth and social responsibility." He called the refuge an "ecological treasure" and said that with the donation to the Conservation Fund, "we are confident that the land we are donating will be properly and permanently protected."

Since 1994, DuPont's Land Legacy Program has placed nearly 18,000 other acres of company land into permanently protected status. The largest prior donation was in 1997 and totaled 7,700 acres near Brevard, NC, at the site of what is now North Carolina's DuPont State Forest. That donation was also to The Conservation Fund.