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Shana Jones, a Georgia Sea Grant expert in legal and policy issues related to land use and coastal flooding, is the founding director of the legal program.

Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program

A New Resource in Coastal Law

The Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program is a new partnership between Georgia Sea Grant and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The program solicits legal and policy questions from Georgia coastal communities, regional organizations, state agencies and others to address critical environmental, economic and social concerns affecting coastal Georgia. 

In providing objective analysis for coastal decision makers, the Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program strives to support informed and effective management of coastal resources, in order to improve hazard resilience, encourage sustainable development and promote healthy coastal ecosystems.

The program also provides training in environmental law and policy to students at the University of Georgia School of Law through the highly competitive Georgia Sea Grant Legal Fellowship.

Current Projects

Sea Level Rise Adaptation on Tybee Island
The Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program is conducting research on the application of federal voluntary property acquisition programs to Tybee Island and other coastal Georgia communities. By analyzing the legal and policy considerations of creating voluntary property acquisition programs, the Georgia Sea Grant Legal Fellows are assisting local governments in planning for recurrent flooding and sea-level rise.

Increasing Flood Resiliency
The Georgia Sea Grant Legal Program is analyzing the legal and policy implications of the participation of coastal communities in the Community Rating System (CRS), a federal program incentivizing communities to take measures to lower their flood risk. Local governments can increase flood resiliency and lower flood insurance premiums for property owners on the coast through CRS participation.

About the Sponsors

As units of the University of Georgia Office of Public Service and Outreach, Georgia Sea Grant and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government help address Georgia’s most pressing issues and extend university resources to help Georgia and beyond prosper. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and effectively and provide improved service to the public. One of 33 state Sea Grant programs throughout the country, Georgia Sea Grant focuses specifically on enhancing coastal environmental, social and economic sustainability through research, education and outreach.