South Georgia Local News State News

Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Tybee Island from Storm Surge & Sea Level Rise Passes U.S. Senate

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation to protect Tybee Island from the effects of growing storm surge.

Sen. Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan Tybee Island Storm Risk Management Act, he says, will “ensure Tybee Island has the resources it needs to protect from sea level rise, storm surge, coastal flooding, and other impacts of climate change.”

The Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support as part of this year’s Water Resources and Development Act Reauthorization.

Senator Braun of Indiana opposed the bill. Three Republicans and three Democrats did not cast a vote:

  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Durbin (D-IL)
  • Leahy (D-VT)
  • Manchin (D-WV)
  • Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sasse (R-NE)

“I have secured bipartisan Senate passage of the Tybee Island Storm Risk Management Act to help protect homes and businesses on Tybee from coastal flooding, storm surge, and high winds,” Sen. Ossoff said. “I thank Chairman Ellis and Mayor Sessions for their help as I’ve built bipartisan support in the Senate for this bill.”

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock co-sponsored the Senate legislation.

“This legislation is a first for Tybee Island. My sincerest thanks and appreciation to Senators Ossoff and Warnock for their support and action in their efforts to sustain our coastline, protect properties and lives, and help ensure economic growth through a long-term resiliency plan,” said Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions. 

“Tybee is important to Georgia, and beach renourishment is important to Tybee. We are glad to see this legislation, which will help Tybee maintain its essential role in tourism. Its passage also means that the City will be more resilient to storms and sea-level rise in the future,” said Coastal Director of The Georgia Conservancy Charles H. McMillan, III. 

Tybee Island has been one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the state of Georgia since the 1870s and has experienced 10 inches of sea level rise since 1935.

The final version of the legislation will ensure Tybee Island can continue to implement coastal storm risk management projects for the next 12 years.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter:

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