TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – A large grant is expected to help Tybee Island as it continues to battle some climate change-related impacts.
A $125,000 grant from the National Coastal Resilience Fund will be used to develop solutions that safeguard the island from severe storms and flooding seen in recent years.
City officials want to come up with solutions that better protect the island — especially Tybee’s tidal marsh which provides a barrier from storms, sea-level rise and erosion.
“Lewis Avenue, the 4-H Center, all these places, we were standing in two, three feet of water when Irma hit,” said Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen, adding, “That’s the issue that we’re dealing with. We’re at the heart of it right now.”
Tybee will be matching the grant with $175,000 from government and non-profit funding sources to further develop coastal resiliency plans.
“Over the next year, we’ll have a consultant study what are the viable solutions on that back end, specifically, for Tybee,” Gillen said.
Other improvements are underway on the island.
Tybee received a $5,000,000 grant through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs last year to rebuild beaches and dunes — and the first phase is complete.
A $15 million beach re-nourishment and dune-building project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will launch this winter.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has also repaved and raised Highway 80 by 8 inches in some flood-prone areas.
The city is still waiting to hear back about a Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation grant to elevate more than 60 homes on the island. Officials say the grant would help the homes withstand flooding and benefit from lower flood insurance premiums.