Recommendation 4-A:  Adopt a Jekyll Island Conservation Plan prior to beginning the process of revising the Jekyll Island Master Plan

One of the three main recommendations made in the 2004 Master Plan Update was that, “The JIA initiates a Conservation Plan for the island soon after the development plan process begins.” Now, six years later, that plan still remains in draft form while major plans for redeveloping and further developing Jekyll Island—including the town center project—have moved forward. If one of the purposes of  the Conservation Plan is, in the words of the 2004 Master Plan Update, to “identify the critical issues and impacts development and redevelopment of the island can have on the island’s ecology,” then clearly the plan must be in place before the renovation of Jekyll Island proceeds any further.

Moreover, since development and redevelopment issues—particularly as they relate to the preservation of Jekyll’s natural assets—will be a major subject of discussion during the Master Plan revision process, and because the Conservation Plan would help guide the Master Plan team in dealing with these issues in a responsible, island-friendly manner, it just makes good sense that the adoption of the Conservation Plan should precede work on revising the Master Plan. 

- By Dr. Steven Y. Newell, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia/former Director of Marine Institute at Sapelo Island [synewell@yahoo.com], and Mindy Egan, Co-Director, the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island [degan@igc.org]