States / Georgia


Coastal Management

The focus is on managing coastal areas to increase resilience, with an emphasis on balancing environmental, economic, and human wellbeing. Mandated by the Coastal Zone Management Act, the two federal programs designed for this task are the National Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Programs are administered, on the federal side, by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, in partnership with the coastal states.

A sandy beach with a boardwalk leading down to the beach. Waves crashing on the shore.

State Programs

Coastal Zone Management

Georgia Coastal Management Program. Established in 1998, the mission of the Georgia Coastal Management Program is to strike a balance between boosting the economy and safeguarding the coast’s natural beauty, environment, history, archaeology, and recreational opportunities. The program covers 11 coastal counties: Brantley, Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, and Wayne, and caters to the needs of the people, industries, and resources along Georgia's coast.

National Estuarine Research Reserves

Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve. Designated in 1976 and protecting 7,500 acres, this reserve is located 7.5 miles northeast of Darien, Georgia. It occupies over one-third of Sapelo Island, Georgia’s fourth largest barrier island, and one of the most undisturbed. The reserve covers 1,440 acres of upland—mostly maritime or mixed oak-pine forest—5,245 acres of saltmarsh, and over 800 acres of open water. (See handout)