Coastal Resources Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520
March 15, 2017
Jekyll Island Authority
Beach Stewardship General Permit
Jekyll Island, Glynn County, Georgia
Case Studies 
This serves as notification from the Shore Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) to obtain a Beach Stewardship General Permit per O.C.G.A. 12-5-230 et. seq. on Jekyll Island, Glynn County, Georgia.
The goal and purpose of the proposed application is to obtain a General Permit to afford JIA and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division (GADNR/CRD) a management tool to facilitate more efficient and effective management of the dynamic, sensitive, and valuable beachfront-shoreline on Jekyll Island. Activities conducted under this General Permit would only apply to actions carried out by JIA on non-leased lands within the jurisdiction of the Shore Protection Act (SPA) seaward of the sand dunes, within the sand dunes, and landward of the sand dunes.
JIA Conservation staff will be the stewards of the General Permit and ensure activities planned and designed under the General Permit are in accordance with the scope of the General Permit and the JIA Conservation Plan. JIA staff will then provide GADNR/CRD staff project specific proposals in order to verify the proposed activity is consistent with the scope of the General Permit.
The General Permit will consist of two main categories: Natural Resource Management and Public Access. Natural Resource Management will include Vegetative Management and Localized Sand Management. Public Access will include Access Management, Signage, Management and Maintenance of Existing Public Use Facilities, and Marine Debris and Unauthorized Structure Removal.
Natural Resource Management- Vegetative Management
Vegetative Management will include the removal of invasive plant species and planting or promotion of beneficial native vegetation. The purpose and goal is to promote and/or stabilize dune growth as well as enhance habitat value for wildlife. Periodic maintenance would include using hand tools, temporary irrigation, or other targeted and controlled means, such as trimming vegetation to manage the growth and successional dynamics of plant communities. In addition, vegetative management will include non-destructive harvest of seeds from various native plants. These harvested seeds will be used only for restoration projects and other native plantings which will help ensure plant success and vitality with locally adapted genetic stock.
Natural Resource Management- Localized Sand Management
Localized Sand Management will include the use of sand fencing and dune-vegetation biomimicry in order to manage sand around beach access routes and structures, as well as promoting dune growth. Sand fencing use will be designed and installed in accordance to the GADNR Sand Fencing Guidelines. In addition, Localized Sand Management will include the collection and storing/banking of sand that has intruded upon existing permitted hardscape or mowed turf grass located landward of the sand dunes. This “nuisance sand” would be removed and stored/banked in non-jurisdictional areas to be used in future small-scale, beneficial dune protection or restoration projects. No sand will be removed from the seaward side of the sand dunes.
Public Access-Access Maintenance
The purpose and goal of Access Maintenance is to ensure access to and from the beach in a safe and ecologically sensitive manner. Maintenance of existing, permitted dune crossover structures would be included in the General Permit. Such maintenance would include the use of mechanized equipment where reasonable and justified.
In areas landward of the sand dunes, additional activities under Access Maintenance include the use of fencing to assist in controlling pedestrian access to and from existing, designated beach access routes, and trimming of vegetation that may be obstructing established, designated pedestrian and vehicular beach access routes.
In areas within the sand dunes Access Maintenance would include the use and maintenance of nonstructural components such as Mobi-Mats. Such components would be used to connect existing dune crossovers to the seaward toe of the sand dunes.
Public Access- Signage
The Signage component of the General Permit purpose and goal is to include signs that post a safety advisory or a notice of a particular ordinance. These signs will be designed, installed, and maintained in a manner that will be sustainable given the dynamics and stresses associated with exposure to the elements. Most signs will be installed either on the landward side of the sand dunes or within an existing access route through the sand dunes. However, there may be occasions of a reasonable, justified need for a sign to be located and maintained seaward of the sand dunes.
Public Access- Management and Maintenance of Existing Public Use Facilities
The Management and Maintenance of Existing Public Use Facilities component of the General Permit is limited to areas landward of the sand dunes. The purpose and goal is to afford the opportunity to perform maintenance and manage these facilities. This would include reasonable and justified activities, plantings, and placement of moveable objects within areas that are manicured park spaces and/or constructed artificial hardscapes. Examples include such things as bike racks, trashcans, or outdoor showers/wash-down areas. This would not include any expansion of existing developed-use footprints.
Public Access- Marine Debris and Unauthorized Structure Removal
The Marine Debris and Unauthorized Structure Removal component of the General Permit is limited to areas seaward of the sand dunes. Occasionally, anthropogenic marine debris is deposited, abandoned, or placed along the beachfront and can be very large and/or heavy. Such debris may pose hazards for both beach-users and wildlife, or may otherwise be incompatible with stewardship goals. Mechanized equipment may be required to address these problems, but will only be used when considered reasonable and justified. This may include removal of such things as abandoned or derelict vessels and unapproved structures.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the project is not contrary to the public interest and that no feasible alternative sites exist. In passing upon the application for permit, the permit issuing authority shall consider the public interest which for purposes of this part shall be deemed to be the following considerations: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful, increased alteration of the dynamic dune field or submerged lands, or function of the sand-sharing system will be created; (2) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicant's proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of marine life, wildlife, or other resources; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicant's proposal will unreasonably interfere with reasonable access by and recreational use and enjoyment of public properties impacted by the project.
A detailed public notice has been distributed and is available by visiting the Division's website: CoastalGaDNR.org under “Marsh & Shore Permits”.
Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed project should or should not proceed. Comments and questions concerning the proposed project should be submitted in writing by the close of business on April 14, 2017 to Karl Burgess, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia, 31520.