1050 Crown Pointe Parkway, Suite 550, Atlanta, GA 30338
Certain geographic areas of Georgia require specialized experience to assist land owners and business men with development projects. Georgia’s coastal and marine habitats are such areas. In addition to normal environmental laws such as erosion control, air quality, water quality, etc. which govern how parcels might be developed, the coastal area has additional strict authorities designed to reduce environmental impacts. These authorities include the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970, Shore Protection Act of 1979, Coastal Management Act of 1998, and Revocable Licenses (control over ownership of submerged lands). Several federal authorities also exist that are unique to the coast such as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 and Section 10 of the River and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899. These federal authorities control activities associated with fishing and near shore development.
Georgia considers the submerged lands along its coast as ‘vital areas’ which gives the State even more regulatory authority under the police powers of the State. The Coastal Management Act exerts authority over development in the 6 coastal counties and the 5 second tier counties. Any activity along the marshlands, submerged lands, dunes, beaches, and near shore areas requires special consideration and therefore more evaluation of possible environmental impacts.
EPS is uniquely qualified to assist clients with activities along Georgia’s coastal zone. On staff with EPS are scientist who drafted and lobbied to pass the Coastal Management Act and authored the only comprehensive updates to both the Marshlands Protection Act and Shore Protection Acts. These staff also administered all the coastal protection authorities developing the current procedures and guidelines on application of the laws as well as the procedures for obtaining a permit.
EPS has utilized this expertise to assist clients in obtaining required permits from the State and federal government for development activities. EPS has prepared permit application documents and acted on behalf of clients to attend State permit evaluation meetings.
In addition, EPS has extensive experience with coastal living marine resources and has undertaken many projects to assess fishery, bivalve, avian, botanical, and other resources. One such project now in its second year involves studying methods to attract oyster larvae, called spat, in order to build oyster reefs. Fishery studies have included hook and line and set nets to capture and document fish populations.
EPS services include: