This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from State of Georgia: Department of Natural Resources as Custodian for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to construct and maintain a walkway leading to existing scientific monitoring equipment located in the marshlands associated with the Duplin River in 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 applicant proposes to install a walkway to access an existing covariance flux tower (“flux tower”) previously permitted under CMPA Permit #673. The walkway will be accessed via a tidal creek of the Duplin River on the West Side of Sapelo Island.
Currently, the 20ft. tall flux tower is located on a 5ft. x 5ft. (25sq.ft.) platform supported by 6in. x 6in. posts above the marsh. The previous boardwalk was destroyed in recent hurricane events, which originally extended to the East of the tower. A 1.16ft. x 82.8ft. (96sqft.) walkway extends from the North of the platform to access a set of 4ft. x 6ft. (24sqft.) solar panels that power the flux tower. Total impacts to coastal marshlands for the existing project are approximately 145sq.ft. (0.003 acre).
The applicant proposes to construct a 1.16ft. x 297ft. (344sqft.) walkway extending from the West Side of the existing platform and terminating along a tidal creek, where it will be used to access the scientific monitoring equipment monthly for servicing and maintenance. Total impacts to coastal marshlands for the existing and proposed project are 490sq.ft. (0.01 acre).
The applicant has stated that there is no upland component associated with 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 July 1, 2022 to Dillon Richter, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.