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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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UGA Project Profile: Flood Resilience for the City of Tybee Island

August 16, 2021 - Residents of Georgia’s coast are familiar with flooding,...
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At the Water’s Edge: The Salt Marsh

June 23, 2021 - The southeast and Gulf coasts of the United...
Resilient Tybee Beach after looking north to Pier

Tybee Island Named One of America’s Best Restored Beaches

May 19, 2020 - After spending three years and nearly $18 million...
USFS seminar

Tybee Island Gaining Global Attention from NASA and International Scientists

March 4, 2020 - Tybee Island was the site of the U.S....

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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