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Initiative to Protect Jekyll Isl and
IPJI Newsletter  Winter 2018
In This Issue
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Dear friends of Jekyll Island,

Another year of changes on Jekyll Island.  We hope this Newsletter will help those of you who haven't been to the island recently get an idea of what has been going on and what is "in the works."

We welcome your comments or questions regarding the Newsletter and appreciate your continued support of IPJI's effort to preserve Jekyll's traditional character, wildlife habitats and natural communities.


David and Mindy Egan, Co-Directors, IPJI
912-635-2167 (H)   912-577-4655 (C)

"Once your feet touch the sands of Jekyll Island, you'll always come back."
Jekyll's Golden Islander
JIA Seeks Visitor Input
The Jekyll Island Authority Marketing Department is conducting a visitor survey. Please consider sharing your thoughts and concerns to assist the JIA in understanding what visitors value about the island and how best the Authority can plan for the future.
 Click here to take the survey.  
Erosion of Georgia's Shore
Protection Legislation? 
In an era of sea level rise and increased coastal erosion, one would think that maintaining the long-standing legislative protection of Georgia's shoreline, Jekyll Island included, would be a 'no-brainer.' Well, think again.
Read more  
Jekyll Island Battered, Bruised and Scarred by Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma slammed Jekyll Island, prompting  mandatory evacuation of the island. Although the record-breaking hurricane was relatively weak when it hit Jekyll, sustained winds of 80 mph combined with high surf and a storm surge caused major beach erosion, the destruction of the majority of dune crossovers, and a dune breach at Driftwood Beach that allowed the ocean to flow into Clam Creek Marsh. Tree loss numbering in the thousands, downed power lines, broken water mains, extensive flooding, and major damage to homes made the storm the worst to hit Jekyll since 1964, when Hurricane Dora devastated the island.
Read more

To view a photo gallery of Irma's impact on Jekyll Island's shoreline, click here.
Jekyll Island Is for the Birds
Birds of many types can be found on Jekyll Island, often in settings that complement the majesty of these remarkable creatures. Our "Jekyll is for the birds" photo gallery captures the beauty of some of the birds that populate the island and helps illustrate why Jekyll is indeed a paradise for bird watchers. And, since 2018 has been declared the "Year of the Bird" by the National Geographic Society, Birdlife International, National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we thought this would be a good time to showcase some of Jekyll's eye-catching feathered friends.

We hope we have identified each bird accurately, but we are not birders so please forgive any errors we might have made.

The gallery includes multiple photos of some types of birds because we could not decide which photos we liked best. We are not good at making tough decisions when it comes to wildlife.
Capacity Study for Jekyll Island: How Much Development Is Too Much Development?

In December, the JIA issued a  Request for Proposals (RFP 336) from firms interested in conducting a Jekyll Island carrying capacity and infrastructure assessment, which, according to the RFP, would "allow the JIA Board to make informed decisions about land use, density, development projects, and amenity enhancements."

Three firms  submitted proposals responsive to RFP 336. At its February 19, 2018 board meeting, Sand County Studios (SCS) and four of its partners, were chosen to conduct the Capacity Study for the JIA. The estimated time for completion is six to eight months. (SCS's proposal is included in the February JIA Board Packet starting on page 37.) 
The key question that must be addressed in this study is, "how much and what kind of development or redevelopment can the island sustain without diminishing the quality of the Jekyll experience? Obviously, there is no way to answer that question without a robust public input session and a comprehensive survey of the island's visitors and residents. Details are not yet available regarding how SCS will gather information from the public. Once this information is available, IPJI will advise its members on how they can participate in this important process.

Hopefully, SCS's capacity study, which will be completed this fall, will produce results more in tune with Jekyll's character than was the case with the previous attempt to deal with this issue, namely the 2008 report produced the Bleakly Advisory Group, which called for an additional 1,000 hotel rooms beyond the island's all-time high and nearly twice the number of residences on the island.  
Future of Jekyll's Golf Course Complex
Up in the Air
In 2016, the Jekyll Island Authority commissioned the National Golf Foundation (NGF) to evaluate Jekyll's golf course complex and make recommendations regarding how to enhance it and whether Jekyll really needs 63 holes of golf. For a summary of the NGF's report,
click here. 
In August of 2017, the JIA issued a Request for Information (RFI) from qualified companies regarding how best to deal with the NGF report's key findings, most notably the factors related to the decline in play and profitability of the golf course complex. Among the options that may be considered is retiring one of the four courses in order to cut costs. The acreage freed up would then be available for some other, yet-to-be identified purpose, including residential development.

As noted at the JIA Board's February meeting, the recommendations to be made in the Jekyll Island Capacity Study will, along with the results of the RFI, help shape the decision regarding the future of the golf course complex.
The information generated by the RFI may be presented to the JIA Board at its March 20th meeting.  
Development Forges Ahead on Jekyll Island
Ocean Oaks: Ocean Oaks is a high-end residential community of 43 homes squeezed into 8.8 acres adjacent to the Hampton Inn and Suites. Thirty-five single-family homes and eight duplexes are now under construction with the cost (excluding upgrades) ranging from $500,00 for a duplex unit to over $1,000,000 for a single-family home, for an average of about $800,000. All but four single-family homes have been sold. All duplex units are still for sale at this time.
Read more
Jekyll's New and Revamped Restaurants
Jekyll Island Seafood Company and the Corsair at the Jekyll Ocean Club (owned and operated by the Jekyll Club Resort) are new dining choices in the Beach Village. The Jekyll Island Seafood Company is moderately priced and offers the same menu for lunch and dinner. The Corsair serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check the menu prices before going to The Corsair unless you don't mind paying $16 for a waffle (honey butter included) or $3.50 per shrimp at the Raw Bar.
Remember Zachry's Restaurant in the old shopping mall? Well, it's back in the form of Zachry's Riverhouse at the Marina, where Sea Jay's Restaurant used to be. Prices are reasonable and reviews are good for this new version of an old Jekyll favorite.
Courtyard at Crane Restaurant: Sadly, this very popular restaurant has been shut down by the new management of the Jekyll Club Resort (Northview Hotel Group). Jekyll Facebook pages were full of comments by people lamenting the closing of this lovely eatery. The management has also closed the Club Hotel's Grand Dining Room for lunch.
Café Solterra at the Jekyll Club Hotel has been renamed the Pantry. Unfortunately, for people wanting a light meal or snack in the evening (formerly offered by Café Solterra), The Pantry closes at six o'clock.
Vincent's Pub at the Club Hotel has also been closed by the new management....go figure.
The Latitude 21 Restaurant and Raw Bar has been replaced by the Wharf, which is owned and operated by the Jekyll Island Club Resort. Prices range from moderate to a bit higher than they were at Latitude's. The Wharf's food, which has received mixed reviews, is advertised as 'southern cuisine.'
Bullwinkle returns to Jekyll
Injured Jekyll Bobcat Saved in
the Nick of Time
As reported in a previous IPJI newsletter, a male bobcat has taken up residence on Jekyll Island. A second bobcat has since arrived, this one a female, which has given birth to a pair of cubs. How the two adult cats managed to get to Jekyll Island without paying the $6 entry fee at the causeway toll booth is anyone's guess. Odds are they pulled end run around the toll station at night and then swam across the Jekyll Creek to reach the island. Obviously, bobcats, like humans, are subject to the magical lure of Jekyll Island. 

Unfortunately, in late September one of the cats was found injured and unable to move. As explained in a Brunswick News article. The cat was captured and transferred to the Jacksonville Zoo, where it was found to be suffering from tick-induced paralysis. The story ends happily though, as the cat (named "Bullwinkle" by its saviors) fully recovered, was fitted with a radio collar for tracking purposes, and released on Jekyll at the site where it was initially found.
Marty Jekyll: The Amazing Feline Ambassador
of the Pier Road Shops
Hi! I'm a cat and my name is Marty Jekyll. If you don't know me by now, which would be a BIG surprise to me because I am FAMOUS, let me introduce myself. I am the VERY HANDSOME tabby cat who is the ambassador for the Pier Road shops on Jekyll Island. I even had to start a FACEBOOK PAGE to keep up with all the people who come to visit me. My FB page is "Marty Jekyll," and I have 1,817 friends and counting!
You are probably wondering why I'm famous! Well, first of all because I'm exceptionally friendly, cute and SMART....modest, not so much. But another reason I'm famous is because three years ago I started the Marty Jekyll Pet Food Drive for Cats and Canines in Need. Some of the Pier Road shopkeepers helped me by putting donation jars and collection boxes in their stores. THIS YEAR ALONE, my pet food drive collected 2,575 DOLLARS and 53 CENTS, 607 cans of wet food, 503 pounds of dry food and 23 bags of yummy treats. The total money raised in the past three years is $7,962.22! How about that? Not bad for one little cat, right?
This year, the food and money helped animals being taken care of by No Kill Glynn County, Purrfect Pals, and the Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia. I even sent money to TEXAS to help feline and canine hurricane victims.
My Facebook friends asked me to keep a donation jar going at The Commissary so they could help out needy cats and dogs ALL YEAR LONG. I am so glad to have friends to give me ideas on how to be a good cat so I have time to do other important cat stuff....like taking naps!
I hope you will come visit me AND my donation jar at The Commissary shop on Pier Road when you are on Jekyll Island, the most beautiful place in the WHOLE, WIDE WORLD!! You can pick up one of my BUSINESS CARDS while you are there!  
Oh! I even have a PHOTO GALLERY! Check it out and PLEASE be my FB friend. I tell lots of interesting stories about life on Pier Road!
Drill, baby drill?
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced an offshore leasing plan that would allow petroleum companies to build oil and gas platforms, pipelines, and onshore infrastructure along Georgia's coast and the other coastal states. Elected officials, civic and environmental groups, as well as business organizations have pointed out the multiple threats to Georgia's barrier islands and pristine marshland posed by offshore drilling and have petitioned the White House to reconsider this risk-laden initiative.

Currently, identical resolutions opposing offshore drilling and seismic testing along the Georgia coast are making their way through both chambers of the Georgia state legislature. Legislators cite the protection of Georgia's tourism industry and the 368,000 acres of salt marsh, which provide nursery grounds for fish, shellfish, crab and other marine life, as reasons why they oppose offshore drilling: "Georgia's fishing and tourism industries and the state's economy are dependent on healthy natural environments and safe ocean systems along the Georgia coast. Exploratory and commercial drilling, extraction, and transportation of offshore oil and gas pose a risk of a spill that could adversely affect Georgia's fishing and coastal tourism industries for decades."

Clearly, an oil spill would have disastrous effects on Jekyll Island's beaches, wildlife and the surrounding marshland. The risks of such a catastrophe simply outweigh any perceived benefits from offshore drilling.