Island draft plan up for review

The Brunswick News

By ERIKA CAPEK
1/5/2011

The first full draft of the Jekyll Island conservation plan is now available for public review and comment.

The intent of the conservation plan, posted Tuesday on the Internet, is to create a framework for protecting and managing natural resources on the state-owned island over the next 100 years.

Appendices are available with the online draft and include vegetation community descriptions, locations of species and communities of highest priority, and a rare plant survey.
sland draft plan up for review

The first full draft of the Jekyll Island conservation plan is now available for public review and comment.

The intent of the conservation plan, posted Tuesday on the Internet, is to create a framework for protecting and managing natural resources on the state-owned island over the next 100 years.

Appendices are available with the online draft and include vegetation community descriptions, locations of species and communities of highest priority, and a rare plant survey.

The online document is the first full draft, said Erica England, communications specialist for the Jekyll Island Authority.

Officials outlined the structure and goals of the preliminary plan in a public meeting last month. It was presented by conservation plan committee members and Jay Exum, a principal ecologist with AECOM, the consulting firm helping to develop the plan.

At the end of the meeting, the audience gave its suggestions on what it wanted to be included in the plan.

"Since the early December meeting, conservation plan committee members have made modifications and edits," England said. "The committee will continue to make edits to the draft, based on public input over the next 30 days."

The document is not the final plan and, depending on comments from the committee and public, further modifications will likely be necessary, officials said.

Following the minimum 30-day comment period, a public meeting will be held to review the plan, answer questions and take comments.

Completion of the Jekyll Island conservation plan is expected early this year.

The plan must be adopted by the Jekyll Island Authority before it can become policy.

The conservation planning committee is made up of members of the Jekyll Island Authority, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Little St. Simons Island, Coastal Regional Commission, Georgia Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.

Mindy Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, an advocacy group with its own perspective on Jekyll Island, said the organization members plan to read the plan.

"We'll definitely go over it and encourage people in our group to look at it and provide comments," Egan said.

Get involved

The draft is available for download from the Jekyll Island website,

http://www.jekyllisland.com/Revitalization/ConservationPrograms.aspx. Copies will also be available at the Jekyll Island Authority offices, 100 James Road, Jekyll Island.