Jekyll Island Authority Board officials say they may ask for legislation to set a firm acreage for development. Board officials said Monday that they're looking to end a dispute over a decades old law that restricts development of hotels, golf courses and other amenities to just 35 percent of the barrier island's land area above the mean high tide.
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens says Jekyll Island officials have correctly followed state law by counting marsh above high tide as land to determine how much of the state park is open to development. Olens issued an opinion Thursday that says excluding all marsh would alter the 1971 law that limits construction on Jekyll Island.
A task force appointed to make recommendations about Jekyll Island's future says the coastal state park may have exceeded the legal limit to how much of its land can be developed. The Jekyll Island Authority governs the island. It has asked Attorney General Sam Olens for a second opinion.
A state administrative law judge has ruled in favor of environmental groups in a case challenging buffers for Georgia wetlands. State regulators say a law requiring a vegetative buffer doesn't apply to some Georgia waterways. But environmentalists say the exceptions are few
Researchers say, there's little difference between new "eco-friendly" docks and those that don't even try to protect salt marshes. Scientists spent three years studying new different types of docks designed to cast fewer shadows on the marsh. They concluded, they're not much better than ordinary docks.
Scientists are investigating how drought kills crabs and marshes on Georgia's coast. Much of the state remains in drought despite recent rains. That puts pressure on rivers and eventually Georgia's broad estuaries. A researcher says, crab diseases seem to flare up when drought chokes off freshwater river flows.
A US Army Corps of Engineers official says, the agency is likely to extend the public comment period on the Savannah harbor deepening project. Some environmental groups and others have said the public comment window was too short given the immense size of the report and its technical difficulty. The official said an extension should be announced this week.
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.
Chatham County could change local zoning to make it easier for some and harder for others to build near Georgia's protected marshes. A local planning council has approved a plan to set the marsh buffer at 35 ft. That's 10 ft. stricter for land deemed "undeveloped" and 25 ft. less strict for land deemed "developed."