Located in the center of the South Atlantic Bight, coastal Georgia is a region rich in beauty, mystery and natural wonders.
Cultures have mixed here for ages, just as the rivers mix with the sea. With its large tidal range, vast salt marshes and picturesque barrier islands coastal Georgia provides the backdrop for coastal residents and visitors alike.
These intertidal habitats are essential for healthy fisheries, beaches, and communities—and they are an integral part of our economy and culture. They also provide essential food, refuge, or nursery habitat for more than 75 percent of fisheries species, including shrimp, blue crab, and many finfish. Salt marshes also protect shorelines from erosion by buffering wave action and trapping sediments. They reduce flooding by slowing and absorbing rainwater and protect water quality by filtering runoff, and by metabolizing excess nutrients.
A plethora of plants spanning from dry sea oats, waxy glasswort, wide red cedars and live oaks thrive in our area.
The flora that resides on St. Simons Island is extremely specific to its environment. The waxy surface of glasswort helps it resist the harsh salty environment while simultaneously allowing the stem to hold in water like a cactus. The plentiful smooth cordgrass has been described as the “single most important marsh plant species.” It controls shoreline erosion, provides a home to many species and its decomposition yields nourishment to the land.
Outside of just plants and animals, mother nature cultivates the ecosystem of St. Simons Island.
The force of the tides, powerful waves, coastline formations and other natural processes continuously change the landscape. Fluctuation in sea levels for thousands and thousands of years have both made and erased some of the coastal islands. Today, whether it be due to man, nature or both, sea level is rising a little more than one foot per century.
This region’s rich mosaic of nutrient-rich estuaries, productive salt marshes allows for a richly diversified land-and seascape. Because of this, activities such as saltwater fishing, sailing, kayaking and bird watching continue to grow in popularity.