Top Ga. court to decide marina dispute that could guide coastal development


May 19, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) -- A dispute over the construction of a marina for a residential development on the coast is before the Georgia Supreme Court today. The case could determine whether Georgia's strict marshland laws also regulates construction on dry land.

The legal squabble is between environmentalists and the developers of Cumberland Harbour, a subdivision built on a peninsula near the Georgia-Florida border. It marks the first time the court has considered whether dry land development is covered by the state Coastal Marshlands Protection Act.

The case centers on the 1970 state law designed to protect Georgia's marshland on the East Coast from destruction. The fragile salt marshes serve as wildlife habitat, a buffer against flooding and erosion, and are particularly vulnerable to damage.

On the Net:

Southern Environmental Law Center

Cumberland Harbour

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