SIA Complaint to GADNR

DNR:SIA let

Sent this off to Mark Williams this morning. In a few days I will distributed to other environmentally interested parties. For some reason, close associates tried to dissuade me.

61 Maxwell Ave.
Saint Simons Island, Ga.

October 20, 2019

Hon. Mark Williams, Director
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 1252
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Dear Director Williams:

Please consider this both a complaint and demand for remedial action in regard to your obligations, as the keeper of the Public Trust Lands (GA Code # 52-1-2 (2015) along what is commonly known as Sea Island, lying just east of Saint Simons Island.

In the interest of brevity, let me quote from a DNR approved (1998)summary by Mr. Terry West (https://www.georgiapolicy.org/issue/what-are-state-owned-tidal-waters-and-marshlands/):“A number of Supreme Court decisions throughout the years have upheld the fact that the tidal waters and marshlands of Coastal Georgia are owned by the State, in trust for the benefit of all people.”

As you are likely aware, in 2005 the Glynn County Commission abandoned most of the causeway linking Sea Island to Saint Simons, as well as all the roads, alleys and bridges on Sea Island, without apparently consulting with the State of Georgia, because, according to the County resolution, these facilities served no “public purpose” – a decision that has effectively deprived the general public of landward access to our tidal waters.

As you are also likely aware, both the Sea Island Company and its successors, Sea Island Acquisitions and SIA PROPCO I, LLC and SIA PROPCO II, LLC have been granted repeated permission by the Coastal Resources Division, one of your subsidiary agencies, for the construction of navigation impeding groins in the tidal waters, the erection and repair of erosion-promoting revetments, and the annual or biennial mechanical grading and and redistribution of sands. While most of this activity has been minimally supported by recommendations from a landscape “professional,” the application for the most recent “renourishment” of the tidal zone with 1.3 million cubic yards of dredged sand did admit that the destroyed benthic community would require about two years to recover after being mangled and compressed by the mechanical equipment moving the sand around…..