Today’s report in the Brunswick News on the genesis of the effort to water down regulations designed to preserve the ocean’s shore from human depredation suggests that he went the extra mile to review DNR and legislative communications.
What jumps out at me is the revelation that the question, “what happens when the phrase ‘and is not part of the sand-sharing system’ was added to the paragraph,” elicited this reply:
“‘4) the area of operation of this part shall not include any area landward of the most seaward platted lot line, if roadways, bridges or water and sewer lines have been extended to such a lot prior to July 1, 2019, on the updrift side of a groin permitted under the Shore Protection Act within a distance from the groin of 5000 ft or 10 times the length of the groin, whichever is less.’”
In addition to proposing privileged legislation to benefit just one corporate entity, this paragraph is a wonderful example of several bad practices and logical aberrations:
1) It gives a favor by exemption without expecting any return and can, therefore, escape even the suggestion that a bribe might be involved. Congress benefits corporate supporters via this strategy all the time.
2) It posits a connection between a rock pile perpendicular to the shore in waters of the state and the adjacent dry land, a connection which does not actually exist. The length of a perpendicular protrusion has nothing to do with the horizontal shore line. One could say this is a material non-sequitur.
3) It relies on a bad local practice—the installation of infrastructure BEFORE any public review of potential detriments, such as the removal of vegetation, canopy destruction and filling of wetlands (marsh and/or swamp), have taken place, an administrative practice which undermines the intent of land use and canopy preservation ordinances—to justify the hands-off attitude of an agency of the state. “Don’t come to us after the land has been raped.”
4) It exempts lots, whose boundaries extend seaward of the high water mark into areas the state of Georgia has reserved for the public, from oversight by the DNR. Moreover, since there are now three groins on Sea Island, it exempts the entire shore front, which the Sea Island corporation has been marketing to individual property owners. One suspects that is the purpose of covering up the so-called revetments in the most recent sand pump and dump.
5) It ties land regulation and preservation to lines on paper (the preferred arena of our desk-jockey regulators), rather than what is actually on or in the ground, or under water. (One of the reasons so many of our residential areas are so poorly sited, from the perspective of the comfort, convenience and aesthetic pleasure of prospective residents, is because they are laid out for the convenience and profit of developers and utility engineers).
Also noteworthy in Wes Wolfe’s report is the Don Hogan suggestion that the sand pumped and dumped on Sea Island has ended up southeast of Gould’s Inlet on Saint Simons Island. While there is no question that what used to be a sand bar only accessible at low tide has risen out of the ocean and now provides dry land for nesting shore birds, if sand migrated from Sea Island, it was eroded from the Spit. What the groins failed to hold, as they sank into the muck, ended up off-shore, whence the wind could not blow it back.
Videos of the sand bar (1995 and 2015) at Gould’s Inlet recorded by Hannah