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Tybee Island is a barrier island located 11 miles east of Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia. It belongs to a series of barrier islands that stretch along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida. The island is bounded to the north by the Savannah River, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south and west by Tybee Creek and a vast tidal marsh system.

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Why it Matters

For over a decade, Tybee Island has been strengthening its resilience to weather and climate threats. This has included preparing for hurricanes, adapting to flooding, restoring natural ecosystems and building diverse partnerships. As the first community in Georgia to adopt a plan for sea level rise, Tybee Island is on the front lines of coastal innovation and leadership in preparing for the future.

Tybee Island has received a number of awards for its resilience initiatives, including:

2020 American Shore and Beach Preservation Association Best Restored Beach

2017 University Economic Development Association Award of Excellence

2014 NOAA Sea Grant National Superior Outreach Program Award

2013 Georgia Trend Four for the Future Award

A Resilient Tybee Island

Tybee Island is a popular summer beach resort. During peak holiday weekends, the population can go from 3,000 full-time residents to upwards of 50,000 visitors. Tourism provides a critical backbone for the island's economy, while generating unique challenges for the community's natural resource, transportation and infrastructure systems. 

Tybee Island is also home to an environmentally fragile ecosystem. It is a federally protected nesting habitat for sea turtles and three endangered bird species. Tybee is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, hosting hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds each year as a critical stopover on their way from South America to Nova Scotia.

 

News

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Saving Half the Seas

April 10, 2023 In the Galapagos Islands, multi-national cooperation to save migrating...
March 7, 2023 - Researchers from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District and the city of Tybee Island to measure vessel wakes near the island’s north shore in hopes of better understanding which ships and operating conditions are associated with generating large wakes.  Located just 18 miles east of Savannah, Georgia, Tybee Island is a popular vacation spot and tourist destination. The island boasts of five distinct beaches, clean, clear water and includes activities from soaking up the sun to water sports. However, commercial vessels transiting the Savannah entrance channel intermittently generate large wake events on the North Beach, creating a potential hazard for beachgoers.

March 7 – ERDC-CHL researchers assess hazardous vessel wakes near Tybee Island

March 7, 2023 - Researchers from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development...
Bigger ships mean bigger waves at Tybee's beach. A recent ship wake study offers solutions

Bigger ships mean bigger waves at Tybee’s beach. A recent ship wake study offers solutions

February 7th, 2023 - Tybee Island resident Joseph Yerchik was lounging on...
City of Tybee Island shares how giant ships affect the shore following case study

City of Tybee Island shares how giant ships affect the shore following case study

January 30th, 2023 Watch Recorded Broadcast Here

Projects

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House Elevation Project

This project aims to elevate homes on Tybee Island out of the...
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USACE Ship-Induced Wake Study

The goal of this study was to understand the impact of vessel...
Skidaway Institute Drone Monitoring

Skidaway Institute Drone Monitoring Project

This project aims to monitor man-made dunes and beach on Tybee Island...
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Tybee Island Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan

In 2016, Tybee Island became the first community in Georgia and one...
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