Georgia Coastal Management Program Celebrates 20 Years
The Georgia Coastal Management Program (GCMP) is celebrating its 20th year. Housed within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division (CRD), this federal-state partnership works to enhance the conservation of Georgia’s coastal waters, beaches and marshlands.
The GCMP empowers local communities to preserve their unique coastal assets through planning, conservation, education and stewardship. It also provides necessary funds to academic institutions to conduct relevant research to assist communities in making sound management decisions. To date this partnership has brought in over $45M in federal funds. Through the GCMP’s Coastal Incentive Grant Program approximately $20 million have been passed through to local governments and academic institutions to implement coastal project priorities and research. Grant recipients have leveraged well over $30 million with additional cash and volunteer (in-kind) contributions.
“Through the development of disaster recovery and redevelopment plans the GCMP is leading the charge to ensure that every coastal community is more resilient to disasters and more prepared for recovery from coastal storms,” says Jan Mackinnon, Program Manager. “By 2020, Georgia will be the first and only state in the nation to achieve this level of preparedness across its entire coastal zone”.
Since 1998, the GCMP has created or enhanced public recreational opportunities at over 45 sites throughout the 11-county coastal zone and has contributed to the acquisition of over 10,000 acres of conservation lands along the Altamaha River corridor. The Program funds CoastFest, the largest coastal outdoor education event held in Georgia and along with other outreach events has educated over 150,000 children and citizens on the value of Georgia’s coastal resources.
The landmark legislation that created the GCMP was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 1997 and subsequently by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1998. Funding for the Georgia Coastal Management Program is provided annually by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management through the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.
To learn more about the GCMP and the anniversary events planned, visit the web site at: coastalGAdnr.org
Photo Caption: The GCMP funded the City of Midway to provide public access at the Cay Creek Wetland Interpretive Trail. The trail provides the public with the rare opportunity to explore a diversity of habitats ranging from freshwater to tidal brackish wetlands along one trail. The trail is also a popular fishing and birding location.
Media Contact: Nancy Butler (912) 262-3140 or email@example.com