Marsh is not land, not here, not at Jekyll Island –WWALS Watershed Coalition

Unanimously approved Wednesday by the WWALS board (PDF). JIA meets next Monday 15 July 2013.

WWALS Watershed Coalition
3338 Country Club Road #L336
Valdosta, GA 31605
10 July 2013

Governor Nathan Deal,
Attorney General Sam Olens,
the Jekyll Island Authority,
and the Georgia Legislature

Frog viewing swamp Here in central south Georgia our pocosin swamps and blackwater river flood plains are important for fishing, hunting, wildlife and ecological preservation as well as recreation and flood control. In our watersheds we have serious problems of flooding at least partly due to too much clearing of swamps for development of subdivisions and roads with their impervious cover. We need our swamps and floodplains protected, not developed.

The tidal marshes of Jekyll Island are no less important to Georgia, and the state has much more direct responsibility for the preservation of those marshes.

WWALS agrees with Georgia Nature Conservancy that marshes are not land. Jekyll Island has already reached the 35% of development permitted by the Jekyll Island Master Plan in O.C.G.A. section 12-3-243. That statute limits development to “not more than 35 percent of the land area of Jekyll Island which lies above water at mean high tide.” Since marsh is not land, it should be excluded from any computation of the land area of the island, and it does not matter where exactly the mean high tide level is.

Georgia does not need to purchase a little more profit for a few developers at the price of destruction of more of the jewel that is Jekyll Island. It is the responsibility of the state to preserve Jekyll Island and especially its marshes for the benefit and enjoyment of all Georgians. We ask you to affirm that marsh is not land.

Thank you,
Dave Hetzel, President
WWALS Watershed Coalition


3 thoughts on “Marsh is not land, not here, not at Jekyll Island –WWALS Watershed Coalition

  1. Diane Shearer, Chairperson, The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island

    Dave, thank you for writing this. We really appreciate having the support of WWALS on this important issue. My friend John Quarterman forwarded this link to me today. Wish I could be with you all this weekend for the paddle on the Alapaha, my hometown river!
    I have reposted your article to our Save Jekyll Island FB page. I have also signed up here to be notified of new postings by email. We are all stronger when we can work together and support each other.

  2. David Egan

    WWALS Watershed Coalition is on target with its analysis of the Jekyll 65-35 issue! Just a quick glance at the the 65-35 map under consideration by the JIA reveals all — according to the JIA, ALL of Jekyll’s tidal marsh is above water, as in dry, at mean high tide, and is therefore part of the land area of Jekyll Islnsd subject to the 65-35 law. On-site conditions deny the accuracy of that map, for most of the marsh is actually under water (as in wet) at the time of high tide. The JIA’s map can be viewed at

  3. Pingback: JIA map shows all marsh as land at mean high tide --David Egan | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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