UGA participates in “Coastal Day At The Capitol”

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia, through its Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant program, recently joined other state and federal conservation agencies under the Gold Dome in Atlanta for “Coastal Day At The Capitol.”

“From blackwater swamps to barrier islands to the open Atlantic Ocean, the Georgia coast is one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the state. The coast is also one of the most economically important areas of the state with natural and cultural resource-based commerce generating billions in spending each year,” said Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division of Georgia DNR-the agency that co-hosted the event with the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve.

“Coastal Day At The Capitol” presented a unique setting for coastal organizations to dialog with legislators and their staffs about the many issues and opportunities available in Coastal Georgia. In welcoming attendees to the event, Governor Nathan Deal highlighted the contribution of Coastal Georgia to the state’s economy through the importance of Georgia ports, as well as the strength of the tourism industry that attracts visitors to this region.

The UGA Marine Extension Service works to increase the efficiency of existing marine industries, identify new industries that do not harm the environment, and increase public awareness and understanding of coastal ecosystems. The coordinated programs of applied research, advisory services and education carried out from offices in Athens and Atlanta and from facilities on Skidaway Island, Savannah and Brunswick extend economic and cultural benefits throughout the state.

Unlike the populations of other coastal states, most Georgians live more than 100 miles inland. UGA’s Georgia Sea Grant works to “bring the coast closer” by combining research, education and outreach projects that promote the economic, cultural and environmental health of Georgia’s coast and encourage citizens throughout the state to become good stewards of coastal and watershed resources. Georgia Sea Grant does its work by channeling funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration into local research, education and outreach, and by encouraging collaboration among government, academia and industry.

Other organization participating included the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Burton 4-H Center Tybee Island, Jekyll Island 4-H Center, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, GA DNR-Wildlife Resources-Nongame Conservation, Historic Preservation Division, and State Parks and Historic Sites Division.

For more information about the UGA Marine Extension Service, see www.marex.uga.edu/.For more information about UGA’s Georgia Sea Grant Program, see www.marsci.uga.edu/gaseagrant/.