City of Tybee Island, Dune Restoration, Construction and Maintenance of Public Dune Crossovers, Public Amenities and Improvements to Authorized Vehicular Access, Atlantic Ocean, Tybee Island, Chatham County


This serves as notification from the Shore Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from the City of Tybee Island for a Shore Protection Act (SPA) Permit under O.C.G.A. 12-5-230 et. seq. for dune restoration, landscaping, construction and maintenance of four (4) dune crossovers, and improvements to two (2) authorized vehicular access points on Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia.

The applicant conducted emergency storm preparedness work ahead of Hurricane Dorian that was authorized by an Emergency Letter of Permission (LOP) issued September 6, 2019. The LOP authorized the temporary placement of beach quality sand obtained from an approved upland source as well as the temporary placement of water-filled jersey barriers on the beach where over wash from storm surge associated with both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Matthew occurred. Impacts from the storms negatively impacted the dynamic dune field as well as flooded real property landward of the breached sand dunes. The applicant proposes the jersey barriers remain in place and be removed with the commencement of the City of Tybee Island’s proposed dune restoration project.

The City of Tybee will undertake sand dune restoration in three (3) locations in conjunction with the United States Army Corps of Engineers periodic beach renourishment. Sand from an off shore lease area, approved by the State Properties Commission, will be deposited on the beach within the limits of the federally authorized template.

The proposed project consists of three (3) locations totaling approximately 317,800 square feet (7.3 acres) and includes the placement of approximately 48,675 cubic yards of beach quality sand obtained from the approved offshore lease area to restore a dune field landward of the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM). The restored dunes will average approximately 8ft. in height. The project includes planting native dunescape vegetation, the installation of temporary irrigation and sand fence, the construction and maintenance of four (4) pedestrian public dune crossovers, and maintenance of public amenities associated with the Anchor Park area that includes walking paths and outdoor seating areas.

In addition, the applicant is proposing to construct and maintain two (2) subsurface stabilized vehicular beach access points at Gulick Street and 3rd Street, and to permanently close the existing vehicular access points at Center Street and 2nd Street. The subsurface stabilized vehicular access points at Gulick Street and 3rd Street will be constructed in a manner that will reduce the risk of storm surge penetration that causes residential flooding, while providing City of Tybee Island emergency vehicles, police vehicles, marine rescue vehicles and authorized City of Tybee Island personnel reliable ingress and egress to the dry sand beach at all tidal stages.

Project Area 1:

Project Area 1 extends seaward east-northeast from Chatham Avenue to 19th Street and consists of approximately 72,000 square feet (1.65 acre) of dry sand beach and an existing dune crossover. Within Area 1, approximately 12,000 cubic yards of dredged sand will be sculpted into a dune field that will average approximately 8ft. in height.

Project Area 2:

Project Area 2 is located seaward of Center Street and extends northeast to the existing dune crossover at East Gate on 2nd Avenue and consists of approximately 241,300 square feet (5.54 acres). This includes the existing Anchor Park on Butler Avenue and the proposed improvement to the vehicular access point at 3rd Street.

Pedestrian wooden dune crossovers are proposed at Center Street, 3rd Street, 2nd Street and Anchor Park. The six foot (6’) wide dune crossovers will commence with a wooden ramp landward of the dune at the eastern terminus of each city street. The dune crossover will span the new dune field at a height not less than 36 inches above grade. The seaward toe of the newly constructed dune will determine the location of the ramp associated with each dune crossovers’ seaward-most end point.  

Dune restoration activities will consist of approximately 36,000 cubic yards of dredged sand placed on 216,000 square feet (4.96 acres) of dry sand beach landward of OHWM and sculpted into a dune field that will average approximately 8ft. in height.

The proposed modification to the 3rd Street vehicular beach access will impact approximately 4,300 square feet (0.10 acre) and will consist of subsurface stabilization comprised of a series of Permashield sand bags filled with beach quality sand obtained from the offshore lease area.

Anchor Park will be improved to enhance public access in Project Area 2 while creating a more naturalized area for passive activities. Existing impacts at Anchor Park include seating, public art and maintained lawn that total approximately 21,000 square feet (0.5 acre). Proposed improvements include the maintenance of existing pervious walking paths.  Maintenance to the existing infrastructure will occur within the existing footprint of Anchor Park and total approximately 21,000 square feet (0.5 acre).

Project Area 3:

Project Area 3 includes improvements to an existing at-grade vehicular access point at Gulick Street.  Approximately 675 cubic yards of dredged beach quality sand will be added to 4,500 square feet (0.10 acre) of deflated dune field to construct an improved vehicular access point that will consist of subsurface stabilization comprised of a series of Permashield sand bags filled with beach quality sand obtained from the offshore lease area.

In each Project Area, the applicant is proposing the installation of salt tolerant, native dunescape plants, temporary irrigation, and sand fencing seaward and landward of the restored sand dunes for stabilization.

The entire project is approximately 317,800 square feet (7.30 acres). Approximately 292,500 square feet (6.72 acres) of the project area is currently dry sand beach and vegetated dunes. Existing impacts include the maintained area associated with the Anchor Park area and total approximately 21,000 square feet (0.50 acre). Approximately 93% of the State’s jurisdictional area will be retained or improved to a more natural vegetated and topographic state.

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 with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: under “Marsh & Shore Permits”.

Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed work should or should not proceed. Comments and questions concerning this proposed project should be submitted in writing by the close of business on October 20, 2019 to Deb Barreiro, Department of Natural Resources, 185 Richard Davis Drive, Suite 104, Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324.

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