Coastal Habitat Evaluation
The Nature Conservancy, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, Ga DNR Coastal Resources Division
GA - DNR Coastal Management Program (through a Coastal Incentive Grant)
2005 - ongoing
To evaluate salt marsh and freshwater wetlands and other sensitive coastal
habitats to identify impacted sites potentially suitable for restoration. Methods will include: aerial photography, land manager interviews,
and site visits.
The project area is located east of
Interstate 95 in McIntosh and Liberty counties, including areas of state-owned lands between
the barrier islands and the mainland. Specific goals are to:
- Develop and apply methodologies to identify impacted wetlands using remote sensing
and land manager interviews
- Evaluate impacted wetlands with site visits and field forms
- Develop a map and accompanying detailed list of impacted wetlands within the study
area including type of impact and size of area affected where possible
- Recommend next steps and techniques to prioritize the restoration of impacted wetlands identified in this study
- Recommend next steps for expanding evaluation methodologies to other coastal Georgia areas.
The Conservancy’s staff developed a field form for evaluating impacts to wetlands
during site visits by reviewing several field forms used in other studies, discussions with
local managers and field experts. The field form was then sent out for review to DNR and
SINERR managers and has been tested onsite.
Fourteen maps were generated by MAREX and reviewed by area mangers. This resulted in 78 site visit recommendations.