Sea Island Spit

Sea Island, Georgia, is an island on the Atlantic Ocean side of St. Simons Island, which is itself a barrier island off the Georgia coast in the southeastern United States. Most of Sea Island is a resort community with a luxury hotel and expensive homes. South of the resort (and of the only bridge connecting Sea Island to St. Simons Island) is an area called the Spit that had been left undeveloped until 2018. It was at once a time capsule and a laboratory. When Sea Island was first developed in the 1920s, there was some infrastructure on the Spit. Over time, however, Nature reclaimed the area. Much of the man-made additions succumbed to the sun, wind, and ocean.

By 2009, when this photo project began, the sand dunes were high and the Spit extended approximately 1.5 miles southward  from the southernmost developed part of the resort. Sand dunes protected the grasslands from the ocean waters, while the marsh on the western side channeled the Black Banks River around the Spit and out to Gould's Inlet to meet the Atlantic Ocean. This outwardly peaceful environment is harsh to those creatures who live there. It had been the island's last bit of natural habitat for land creatures and for visitors from the sea looking to lay their eggs in an ancestral location. However, a change in the hurricane cycle and the financial crisis have joined forces to strangle the life out of this piece of wilderness. The sand dunes are gone or reduced to slight rises. Part of the maritime tree growth is cleared and sprout red fire hydrants and asphalt pavement. Most of what is seen in these photos is now gone - forever. Nature rearranged some of it, and, man, deciding that the potential revenue from building sites was too great to pass up, did the rest.

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