Cumberland Island is a small sliver of land off the Georgia Coast, not quite 17 miles long. On its eastern edge is the Atlantic Ocean with undisturbed beaches and sand dunes, while rivers, sounds and wide marshes mark its other boundaries. This creates incredibly complex ecosystems, ideal habitats for a range of wildlife, from endangered sea turtles and over 300 species of birds to spirited bands of wild horses. Wherever you go on the Island, you will experience magical reminders of life’s continuing cycles.
The pristine beaches of Cumberland are the place to see dolphins, endangered manatees and other sea creatures, plus otters and mink searching for fish near the southern docks, along with birds such as pelicans, gulls, terns and diving ducks.
Birders will find gorgeous species of egrets and herons in the marshlands and on creeks, and wild turkeys, wood stork, songbirds, and woodpeckers in the forests of gnarled oaks and pine trees dripping with Spanish moss. Back on the shoreline, peregrine falcons, osprey, an occasional bald eagle are migratory predators, co-existing along with sandpipers and the endangered American Oystercatcher
Head into the protected maritime forests for sightings of white tail deer, bobcats and raccoons. The salt marshes and rivers are home to alligators and an assortment of snakes, lizards and reptiles. Armadillos commonly scurry around the Island, digging holes and looking for cover in the underbrush..
Cumberland is also home to large bands of feral horses, whose ancestors are thought to be 16th century Spanish explorers. When the wild horse population threatened the Island’s ecosystem, Lucy R. Ferguson (Gogo’s grandmother) sold hundreds of horses as part of the Carnegie family’s efforts to protect the Island, its natural resources and its wildlife.
Today, Cumberland’s horses number upwards of 150, roaming the Island freely and living off of sea oats and beach grasses. The sight of these powerful, graceful creatures splashing along the shore, exploring the dunes and grazing in scenic ruins such as Dungeness is at once thrilling and haunting. Like all wild creatures on Cumberland Island, they are monitored by the U.S. National Park Service.
Gogo continues her family’s tradition of conservation, and Lucy Ferguson’s work as a naturalist, not only by honoring nature in their artistic creations, but by philanthropic giving and the support of local environmental organizations.
For over 15 years, Gogo Jewelry has been involved with Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides marine life to schools and research laboratories, operating touch tanks with local Gulf creatures that offer an interactive experience. Gogo also places a priority on building close relationships with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and local naturalists,
Gogo is a longtime supporter of the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund’s annual Weekend for Wildlife, donating to and fundraising for one of the nation’s most successful conservation efforts. They promote wildlife awareness at Sea Island, and also teach jewelry making to children at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, where the touring exhibit Gogo: Nature Transformed first premiered in 2013.
Supporting the local environment that inspires the creation of Gogo Jewelry has been absolutely fundamental to the ethos, spirit and growth of the company. Without the support of non-profit charities and private donations, a lot of the endagered coastal wildlife we all take for granted would simply disappear.
Right now the government cannot afford to fully support the necessary conservation efforts needed to help maintain and preserve a healthy ecosystem in coastal Georgia. With every purchase of Gogo Jewelry you financially contribute to these ongoing efforts. We are all sincerely grateful for your support.