Imagine going into the barbershop for a trim and coming out with a shaved head and a couple of missing ears. That’s about what happened to the storied Marshes of Glynn along the Jekyll Island Causeway. The barber of Jekyll Island, with an assist from the Georgia Department of Do Not Respect, has taken his shears to the Causeway to “trim” the place up.
A letter from one Karl Burgess, in the Coastal Resources Division, acknowledged the trimming plan, but apparently failed to mention that the assistants he was going to provide were novices at their jobs.
On the other hand, the effort to maximize “the natural and aesthetic value of an artificial landscape,” as the Jekyll Island Authority’s conservation manager explained, was likely flawed from the get-go. After all, though the Georgia legislature re-instated a protective buffer requirement to insure that the natural vegetation is not disturbed along our marshes and shores, the word that their area of jurisdiction had moved apparently didn’t trickle down to the Coastal Resources Division. Or, maybe the bureaucrats still don’t know what jurisdiction (the law says) means.
In any event, the placement of the pink-ribboned bamboo stakes in the marsh as a guide to the “trimmers” provides clear evidence of either intentional carelessness or gross incompetence. How else to explain a bundle of un-used stakes left like litter in the marsh? Maybe the “assistants” suddenly realized they were doing it wrong or their shoes were sinking in the mud? Because, instead of moving from protected plant to protected plant, as this little schematic directs, , they got lost and ended up as much as nine feet off the high marsh edge.
Maybe it’s just too complicated for biologists to keep track of both plants and critters. Granted, before the mowers passed to obliterate the detritus, the fiddler crab burrows, to which the critters retreat when the tide comes in, were hard to see. Now they’ll be spotted by predators with ease.
If that fiddler crab looks irate, it’s probably because he really doesn’t want to be disturbed–not by chain saws or mowers or wood chippers. If he could, he’d tell the barber to take his clippers and go home. “Leave our natural habitat alone.”