Rocky Joe Smith as Administrator of the Troy R. Smith Estate, Construction of a Culverted Road Crossing Over a Man-Made Tidal Stormwater Ditch, St. Marys River, Camden County, Georgia

Camden County, Georgia

This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Rocky Joe Smith as Administrator of the Troy R. Smith Estate 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 culverted road crossing over a man-made tidal stormwater ditch located on a tributary of the St. Mary’s River, Camden 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 applicant originally installed a culvert and fill in a stormwater ditch to create access to an adjacent parcel associated with the commercial boatyard expansion, without the knowledge that the tidal ditch was within CMPA jurisdiction. A Consent Order was executed November 19, 2020 and the applicant removed the unauthorized culvert and fill from jurisdiction. The applicant was issued Letters of Permission (LOP) by the Department to install a temporary bridge across the ditch to maintain access. This application is for the placement of a permanent culverted crossing to provide access for a 50-ton travel boat lift to the expanded boat yard.

The applicant proposes to construct a road crossing along approximately 42ft. of the man-made tidal stormwater ditch which will consist of the placement of two (2) 45ft. long x 48in. reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) culverts that will be covered with 55cu.yds. (770sq.ft.) of clean fill material. The road crossing will range from approximately 16ft. wide at the east limit to 21.5ft. at the west limit. Concrete headwalls (1ft. x 42.08ft.) will be placed on each end of the culverted road crossing (84sq.ft). The pipe ends will be stabilized with 80sq.ft. of rip-rap at each end (160sq.ft.) to prevent erosion. This crossing will allow for the construction of a permanent structure to connect two adjoining plots of land for the applicant’s business operations.

As proposed, the project will impact approximately 1,014sq.ft. (0.02 acres) of coastal marshlands. 

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: 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 16, 2023 to Dillon Richter, Department of Natural Resources,  One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at 

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