Darien Downtown Development Authority, Modification to Existing Public Access Wharf and Floating Dock Facilities, Darien River, McIntosh County, Georgia

McIntosh County, Georgia

This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Darien Downtown Development Authority for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to modify the existing public access wharf and dock facility located on the Darien River, McIntosh County, Georgia. The proposed project is under 1/10 of an acre, and therefore may be considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.

The existing public access dock was previously authorized under CMPA Permit #458. Maintenance to the permitted dock facility was recently performed under a Letter of Permission issued February 23, 2023. The public dock facility consists of a fixed deck and walkways totaling approximately 6,655.6sq.ft. A 4ft. x 20.4ft. (82sqft.) ramp provides access to an 8ft. x 125.3ft. (1,002.2sqft.) floating dock. The fixed deck platform has an irregular 388sq.ft. structure located slightly landward of the main walkway used to support an existing gangway. The existing dock is located approximately 35.8ft. from the adjacent dock to the east and 24.3 to the adjacent dock on the west. The existing floating dock extends 28.7ft. into the waterway at a location where it is 311.3ft wide at Mean Low Water (MLW). 

The project site also contains a public access boat ramp that was recently modified by CMPA Permit #805. The boat ramp consists of a 4ft. x 25ft. (100sq.ft.) walkway that leads from the upland to a 3ft. x 40ft. (120sq.ft.) gangway providing access to an 8ft. x 20ft. (160sq.ft.) floating dock. Directly to the east of the walkway, gangway, and float is 12ft. x 45ft. (540sq.ft.) boat ramp. Existing impacts to coastal marshlands total approximately 8,659.8sq.ft. (0.20 acre). The dock extends 40ft. into the waterway at a point where is it is 335ft. at MLW.

The applicant proposes to reconfigure the existing public wharf and dock facility. The existing floating dock (1,002.4sq.ft.), ramp (82sq.ft.) and a 278sq.ft. section of walkway will be removed. The irregular portion of the walkway will be replaced with a 110sq.ft. section to straighten the wharf walkway. A new 6ft. x 86ft. (516sq.ft.) fixed walkway will be constructed directly channelward from the westernmost fixed walkway. A 4ft. x 30ft. (120sq.ft.) gangway will extend to the east to provide access to a new 10ft. x 126ft. (1,260sq.ft.) floating dock (New Dock 1) that will be located approximately 15ft. seaward of the existing fixed walkway. At the southern terminus of the proposed fixed walkway will be a 4ft. x 80ft. (320sq.ft.) ramp that will extend to the east to provide access to a 12ft. x 123ft. (1,512sq.ft.) floating dock (New Dock 2) located seaward of New Dock 1. The proposed dock is approximately 35.8ft. from the adjacent dock to the east and 24.3 to the adjacent dock on the west. The proposed dock facility will extend approximately 119ft. into the waterway where it is 311ft. wide at MLW. The proposed footprint of the modified public dock facility will be approximately 11,098sq.ft. (0.25 acres) with new impacts to coastal marshlands totaling 2,438sq.ft. (0.06 acres). 

The applicant has stated the project has no upland component.

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. Impacts to coastal marshlands must be minimal in size. In passing upon the application for permit, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee shall consider the public interest: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful obstruction to or alteration of the natural flow of navigational water within the affected area will arise as a result of the proposal; (2) Whether or not unreasonably harmful or increased erosion, shoaling of channels, or stagnant areas of water will be created; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicants proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, or other marine life, wildlife, or other resources, including but not limited to water and oxygen supply.

A detailed public notice with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: CoastalGaDNR.org under “Public Notices.”

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 and be submitted by the close of business on December 2, 2023 to Paul Tobler, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at paul.tobler @dnr.ga.gov.

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