This serves as notification from the Shore Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Little Cumberland Island Homes Association for a Shore Protection Act (SPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-230 et seq. for clearing of vegetation and construction and maintenance of a beach driving access point within the State’s SPA jurisdiction on Little Cumberland Island, Camden County, Georgia. The proposed project is considered a minor activity under O.C.G.A. 12-5-230 et. seq.
SPA Permit #420 was issued August 16, 2013, and authorized the relocation of a portion of a designated access route for vehicular beach access northwest of Christmas Creek. This request is to relocate the access point north to a more stable area.
Three DNR approved beach driving access points currently exist, but only two points provide access to the Atlantic beach on the eastern side of the island. According to the applicant, beach driving access has been lost along Christmas Creek due to migration of the waterway, erosion resulting in steep banks, debris, and low-lying swales. Access to the beach is also restricted at the X Trail 4 beach access point during high tides further limiting access for the island’s residents and sea turtle project volunteers.
The subject lot is 87,124 sq.ft. (2.0 acres), of which 80,994 sq.ft. (1.86 acres) is within SPA jurisdiction. The area within jurisdiction consists of a vegetated dynamic dune field. The applicant proposes to clear vegetation to create a vehicle-accessible pathway beginning on the upland of Lot 57 and leading seaward through the dynamic dune field to access the beach. Once over the landward dune, the shortest route over the lowest area of the dunes will be utilized to minimize impacts to the sand sharing system.
The cleared beach access pathway will be 6ft. x 498ft. beginning on the upland and leading seaward along the shortest route over the lowest area of the dynamic dune field to the beach. The terminal end of the proposed pathway will terminate perpendicular to the shoreline and seaward of the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM). Total impacts within SPA jurisdiction of the proposed, cleared pathway will be 2,984 sq.ft. (0.07 acres), due to a small portion of the cleared pathway being upland of the jurisdiction line.
There will be no grading, excavation, or fill and no trees over 4 inches in diameter will be removed. All work within jurisdiction will be accomplished using low impact hand tools. Upon completion, the cleared pathway will impact 3.7% (2,984 sq.ft.) of the state’s SPA jurisdictional area, and approximately 96.3% (78,010 sq.ft.) will remain in a natural or improved topographic and vegetative condition.
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: 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 February 18, 2023 to Beth Byrnes, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click Here to View Project Application
Click Here to View Project Description
Click Here to View Project Drawings