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U.S. to nominate Okefenokee Swamp refuge for listing as UNESCO World Heritage site

A U.S. agency says it will nominate the Okefenokee Swamp's vast wildlife refuge for a place on the official list of the world's most treasured natural and cultural sites. The National Park Service filed a notice Friday that it will seek a UNESCO World Heritage site designation for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge in southern Georgia covers more than 400,000 acres. It's home to one of the world's last intact blackwater swamps and numerous threatened and endangered species. Currently only 25 places in the U.S. have won distinction as World Heritage sites, including Grand Canyon Park in Arizona and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. A final decision on the Okefenokee refuge is expected to take years.