Mon., August 30, 2010 3:00pm (EDT)

Coastal Resources Absorb Cuts
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 4 years ago

BRUNSWICK, Ga.  —  
Abadoned boats are a big problem on Georgia's coast.  The Coastal Resources Division now doesn't have the resources to help remove them because of the state's budget crisis.  (photo Leah Cheady)
Abadoned boats are a big problem on Georgia's coast. The Coastal Resources Division now doesn't have the resources to help remove them because of the state's budget crisis. (photo Leah Cheady)
Georgia's Department of Natural Resources has cut its budget by nearly a third over the past two years.

But no DNR division has taken a hit like the Coastal Resources Division.

The CRD's budget has been cut by 52%, the largest percentage of any DNR division.

CRD Director Spud Woodward says, that partly reflects a one-time influx of money two years ago to deal with the problem of abandoned boats littering coastal waters.

The money is now gone.

"Now we have a continued problem with derelict vessels but no resources with which to help," Woodward says. "The folks that live in coastal Georgia and that visit coastal Georgia need to realize that at some point there are some things that they have been used to seeing and having that they probably won't and those are consequences of budget cuts."

Another big problem is access for recreational fishing.

If a public boat dock goes out-of-service now, CRD can't help counties fix it.

Other activities receiving shorter-shrift now include reef improvements and permitting response time.