Among the compelling reasons for the recent proposal by the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) to replace the state law limiting development to 35% of the land area of Jekyll Island with a statute based on a maximum number of development-eligible acres is the inherent difficulty in accurately determining a mean high tide boundary in a marsh setting, which is required for proper application of the 35/65 law. Insights into the nature of this difficulty are provided by a pair of documents linked below, which are included in the recently adopted new Master Plan for Jekyll Island State Park. One is by NOAA’s Doug Marcy explaining the limitations of the data he provided to the JIA for mapping Jekyll’s mean high tide boundary. The other is by coastal geologist Chester Jackson (Georgia Southern University), who was asked by the JIA to review the Master Plan’s delineation of Jekyll’s shoreline. Together, they make for interesting reading.
For the reader’s convenience, key sections of the Mr. Marcy’s letter to the JIA have been highlighted. Dr. Jackson’s letter appears without highlighting, as it is in a file format that cannot be edited.