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Save Jekyll Island NOW!

Jekyll Marsh by Dorothy Carswell

THE BACKGROUND: For years, efforts have been trying to open the door to luxury development at Georgia's most public beach. In 1971, a law was passed limiting development to 35% of the Island’s land area. The Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) is trying to increase the number of developable acres by counting marsh as land. The JIA has asked Georgia's Attorney General for a ruling as to whether marsh can be defined as "land" and thus be thrown into the pot when adding up the acres subject to the State law limiting development to 35% of Jekyll's land area.

A committee of specialists and JIA staff members working on a new Master Plan for Jekyll Island State Park recommended that tidal marsh should not be counted as part of Jekyll's land area when applying the 65/35 law. That recommendation, which is based on the 65/35 law and the legal distinction between tidal marsh and land that's stated in Georgia's Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA), was condemned by the JIA in its letter to the AG's office requesting a ruling on the land vs. marsh issue. 

The AG's review of the committee’s recommendation is underway now; a decision is expected soon.

Check out the Atlanta Journal Constitution article last week, Storm Brewing over Jekyll Island Development, for more details and background.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: At risk is the integrity of the 65/35 law. If tidal marsh is excluded from the land area count, Jekyll would be 3,816 acres in size. The JIA, having concluded that marsh above mean high tide is "land," is now claiming the island is 5,542 acres large, 35% of which would be eligible for development resulting in 604 additional acres of developable land. Get the picture?

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Write a brief note to Attorney General Sam Olens indicating your support for the 65/35 law and the land area recommendation of the Master Plan's 65/35 committee.


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Jekyll Island: Marsh is not Land

Dear [Decision Maker],

Georgia is blessed with special places, from Cloudland Canyon to Tallulah Gorge, to the Okefenokee Swamp. But Jekyll Island is uniquely important to Georgians, not only because of its natural beauty and wildlife, but because it belongs to all Georgians.

I endorse the GreenLaw letter that marsh should not be included in the land area of the Island when applying the 65/35 law. Marsh is not land.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
- John Muir
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