sea pines, ga

What’s a dynamic dune? It’s a reference that was changed to just “dunes” in the law, perhaps because it left too many people confused. Or perhaps the idea that dunes change and move was upsetting to people who want their environment to stay the same.

In any event, it’s hard to deny that the purveyors of entertainment on Sea Island, Georgia, are bound and determined to “fix” their venue, even though it means breaking the law to do so. Pictures don’t lie.

Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper
Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper
Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes in June by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper
06-19-14 All beach equipment including volley ball court and water craft in unauthorized area of the dunes.
Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper
08-27-14 Beach equipment, volley ball court and water craft in the dune area unlawfully unless a permit has been issued.

All summer long the toys have languished in the dunes, forgotten and unused. It’s almost sad. So many toys and so few people to play with them! Perhaps the fact that Sea Island Acquistions charges $75 a day just to walk on the beach to people staying at their off-island Inn has something to do with it. After all, the beach belongs to the public, why should we pay just to walk on it? Talk about trying to convert a public good into private profit!

Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes in June by James Holland, our Altamaha RiverkeeperJames Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper, Emeritus is of a legalistic bent and qualifies his objections with “unless a permit has been issued.” I’m more inclined to insist that, however neatly arranged, clutter has no place on the beach.

What he found in June was there in August, too. Maybe each chaise and each umbrella should pay a fine of $10 a day.

So, we’ve got a cesspool in the dunes and clutter on the shore. How much lower can Sea Island go? Not far. After all, the local politicians already abandoned all the streets and lanes and public rights of way in 2004 because they served no useful purpose.

Safe and secure and static. That’s how the predators like things. Shall we withhold judgement because the residents have assented to the sequester?

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Editor's Note: this story also appeared at Hannah's Blog.

Images: Aerial photos of Sea Island dunes by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."