One of Georgia’s barrier islands now has permanent protection.
Little St. Simons is privately owned and has already been preserved. Now, through a legal agreement with the Nature Conservancy, the 11,000-acre island will stay that way. The Nature Conservancy will help the current owner, a limited liability company called Whimbrel, manage the land.
“They know that as they move forward, they want to maintain the natural beauty of the island forever,” said Deron Davis, the executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Georgia. “That’s what working with us has allowed them to do.”
Davis says no new construction will be allowed – aside from replacing current buildings. Typically in this kind of deal, a new building would have to stay in the same footprint as the old one, said Davis. But since this is a barrier island, which shifts around with the wind and the waves, there will be flexibility.
“Right now it’s going to stay pretty much as-is,” said Davis. “But into the future that might not have been the case, and that’s where we come in to make sure that it stays that way.”
The Nature Conservancy works with public and private landowners to protect about 330,000 acres in Georgia.