Lee Pursley Cooley & Crystal James Cooley, Construction of a Bulkhead, Lot 4 Sapelo Gardens, Townsend, McIntosh County, Georgia


This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Lee Pursley Cooley and Crystal James Cooley for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to construct a bulkhead at Lot 4, Sapelo Gardens, Blackbeard Creek, 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 project site currently consists of a developed residential lot. There is currently no bank stabilization in place and there is active erosion at the interface between upland and marsh. 

The marshlands component of the proposed project consists of the installation and maintenance of a 66 linear foot wooden bulkhead to be constructed in coastal marshlands immediately seaward of the CMPA jurisdiction line. The proposed bulkhead will require 66sq.ft. of backfill. Approximately 0.81 cubic yards of back fill will be located below the High Tide Line (HTL).   

As proposed the project will impact approximately 66sq.ft. (0.002 acres) of coastal marshlands. 

The upland component of the project consists of existing, permanent, and temporary activities within the 50ft. marshlands buffer which totals 1,230sq.ft. Existing structures within the 50ft. marshlands buffer include 98sq.ft. of wooden dock walkway. Currently 98sqft. of the 50ft. marshlands buffer is impervious. Permanent impacts associated within the proposed bulkhead will be 4sq.ft. of tieback pilings and 135sq.ft. of tieback cables/rods. Temporary construction impacts within the 50ft. marshlands buffer will include approximately 990sq.ft. of excavation and equipment operations. Total permanent impacts to the 50ft. marshlands buffer total 237sq.ft. which will remain 8% impervious upon project completion. The project site will be stabilized with native vegetation upon completion of the project. 

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 March 7, 2024 to Maitland Bass, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at maitland.bass@dnr.ga.gov.

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