Tybee Seeks Natural Infrastructure Solutions

In a climate of concern about resilience to sea level rise and severe storms, the City of Tybee Island will forge ahead with a $125,000 grant from the National Coastal Resilience Fund.

The grant will be used for planning and design of natural infrastructure that protects homeowners by reducing the effects of flooding on the west side of the island. Tybee Island will match the grant with $175,000 from government and non-profit funding sources.

Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS) researchers Dr. Brian Bledsoe, director of IRIS and professor in the College of Engineering, Dr. Jill Gambill, public service assistant with the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Dr. Clark Alexander, director and professor of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Dr. Craig Landry, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and Drs. Alfie Vick and Alison Smith, professors in the College of Environment and Design, will collaborate with city officials to develop a plan that combines engineering, ecology, social science and hydrology to identify natural infrastructure solutions. 

The team will use data from previous storms, computer models, and citizen input to develop natural infrastructure solutions to protect homes and public infrastructure from damage caused by flooding, while simultaneously creating new habitat for wildlife.

Tybee Island has a history of breaking new ground in the name of greater resilience to climate change. In 2014, it created the first municipal sea level rise plan in Georgia. This effort will build on its legacy of innovation in the face of adversity.