UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant helped organize and co-host a four-day meeting for members of the Georgia House of Representatives’ Natural Resources and Environment Committee throughout coastal Georgia. Led by the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government and funded by the Dobbs Foundation, the meeting allowed the committee to participate in various site visits, listen to presentations from scientific experts and hear public testimony.

Committee members visited the UGA Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography, toured UGA Marine Extension’s oyster hatchery and discussed shrimp trawling and marine science education. Members also met with the Georgia Ports Authority and the Department of Natural Resources and toured the Port of Savannah and Ossabaw Island.

Additionally, the committee joined the House Study Committee on Saltwater Intrusion into Coastal Aquifers for two days of meetings. Together, the committees met with Tybee City Hall, where they discussed the Tybee Test Well Project, the Tybee beach re-nourishment work with the Army Corps of Engineers, efforts to control flooding, living shorelines and the Shore Protection Act.

Committee members also visited the UGA Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography to learn about the challenges faced by the Coastal Water Council as they work to conserve and manage water resources in order to sustain and enhance coastal Georgia’s environment and economy. This included hearing presentations about saltwater intrusion, an update on the Red and Yellow Zones and a review of local water conservation measures.