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Georgia coast

UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

As the sea level rises, roads, homes and hotels will all be affected. So will natural habitats, like the miles and miles of marshes on Georgia’s coast. A University of Georgia project aims to help the state adapt.

The sea level has gone up about a foot in the last century, and scientists project it could go up another three feet in the next century.

“Areas that are now dry land, will become intertidal in the future,” said Clark Alexander, a coastal geologist at UGA’s Skidaway Insititute of Oceanography. “And so these are areas where marshes will develop over time.”

Most people at a public hearing in Waynesboro, GA in May, 2015 opposed the use of eminent domain to build the Palmetto Pipeline.
Molly Samuel / WABE

A fuel pipeline that would travel the length of the Georgia coast has hit another roadblock. On Monday, a judge in Atlanta ruled that the company that wants to built it, Palmetto Products Pipe Line, cannot use eminent domain.

The company, which is a subsidiary of the energy giant Kinder Morgan, wants to build the 360-mile pipeline from Belton, South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida.  

At Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region /

Sometimes what scientists need to protect a threatened species is a chainsaw, some roofing material and a little bit of creativity. On the Georgia coast, the Department of Natural Resources is channeling MacGyver to help out a big, gawky, bald-headed bird.

It’s a bird that hasn’t always nested in Georgia, but now that it does, scientists are working to protect it.

Wood Storks

Wood storks aren’t exactly conventionally beautiful.


Alice Keyes faced a wall of grassy salt marsh and clapped her hands. She was trying to get a response from clapper rails -- seldom-seen, fat-footed marsh birds.

“When you clap it agitates them and they’ll usually call back,” Keyes said. “But apparently we’re not close enough to them right now.”

She stood on the edge of the St. Marys River, in the very far southeastern corner of Georgia. It’s a classic Georgia coast setting: calm, quiet water with occasional small boats going by. Birds flickered in and out of the otherwise still marsh.

John Raoux / Associated Press

This story has been updated to reflect a new deadline.

The Federal Aviation Administration is studying a proposal for a private spaceport on the Georgia coast. The Camden County Spaceport would be a facility where companies like SpaceX could launch rockets.

One of the first steps in the permitting process is an environmental review. The deadline for the public to submit questions about the impact of the project is Jan. 18.