Officials are investigating the deaths of at least 37 dolphins along Georgia's coast in the last six weeks. That's more dead dolphins than the state usually sees in an entire year. A state biologist says he suspects a measles-like virus is the killer. The deaths appear limited to migrating dolphins and not the ones that live in Georgia year round.
The state Board of Natural Resources is set to take over regulation of saltwater fishing in Georgia. State lawmakers gave the board the authority to regulate saltwater fish the same way it does with freshwater species starting January 2013. Until now, the General Assembly has directly controlled rules about some saltwater species.
Brunswick city officials are getting tired of paying to raise sunken and abandoned shrimp boats. Two years after paying about $70,000 to raise a derelict trawler at the city dock, last month another one sank. Taxpayers end up footing the bill when shrimpers can't maintain their boats and can't insure or sell them.
A coastal-area environmental group and five public agencies have come together to clear up confusion about fish advisories in the Brunswick area. The partnership aims to put in one place the myriad advice fishermen receive about which fish to eat, where to catch them and how much is too much. State officials produce a 60 page book on the topic.
High surf from Hurricane Irene this weekend washed away more than sand. The endangered loggerhead sea turtles were near the end of their nesting season when the storm lashed the beaches. Turtle-watchers spotted numerous examples of nests that just disappeared after Irene.
Georgia marina owners want state officials to ease rules on coastal boaters who stay awhile. Right now, if someone wants to live on a boat on Georgia's coast, they're effectively barred from staying for more than a month. A proposed rule change would help local business and make it easier for the state to control waste water discharges.
Georgia is one of four states participating in a coastal alliance aimed at getting the South Atlantic region in synch on environmental issues. The South Atlantic Alliance recently released a draft plan to coordinate state policies on port expansion, disaster response and other issues.
Budget cuts in education are getting a lot of attention in this year's gubernatorial race, but a lot of smaller state agencies also are dealing with budget cuts. For instance, the Coastal Resources Division has cut its budget over the past two years by 52%. That's the most of any division within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
State biologists want coastal planners to know exactly what's on the coast before development picks up. Two researchers working for the Department of Natural Resources are creating a map of the coast's natural habitats. The map's detail goes beyond anything seen before -- down to fractions of acres.