Coastal Hazards and Resilience


Weather-related hazards such as flooding, hurricanes and storm surge are a constant challenge on the Georgia Coast.

Local governments struggle to plan for these events, while providing the best options for safety and resiliency. However, technical data and planning resources are often difficult to obtain for these counties and cities.

UGA Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant have partnered with national, state and local agencies in order to identify specific needs of coastal communities and to provide them with the technical expertise, data and tools to facilitate preparedness for these events. Flood plain management, location of critical facilities, climate adaptation plans and community outreach are among staff priorities.

Currently, cities such as Tybee, St. Marys and Brunswick are working with UGA in order to plan for coastal hazards and educate citizens about their effects.

St. Marys Flood Resiliency Project

Since 2013, the City of St. Marys has collaborated with Georgia Sea Grant, the University of Georgia, Stetson University and North Carolina Sea Grant to engage in flood resiliency planning. The historic, low-lying community has already experienced approximately nine inches of sea-level rise since 1897, and this trend is expected to accelerate in the future. This project has paired local knowledge with academic expertise to analyze risks to the City’s infrastructure and provide initial recommendations to manage flooding risks over the next 50 years. A model for other communities, this effort has grown to include other cities and counties throughout the U.S. southeast Atlantic region.

St. Marys Flood Resiliency Project Final Report (currently under review)

Resident’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards in Georgia

The Resident’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards in Georgia is a resource that has been developed by Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, in collaboration with several federal, state and local partners. This handbook provides detailed information on emergency preparedness, evacuation planning, and steps that residents can take to protect their life and property. The purpose of this handbook is to provide actionable information that residents can use to build resilience to natural hazards in Georgia. Resources included throughout the handbook address specific needs of underserved populations, including people with functional and access needs.

Resident’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards in Georgia

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