Carter Infinger, Chairman Bryan County Commission
I am incredibly excited that Bryan County recently received a $3 million Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) grant from the state. The GOSP awards grants for the conservation of priority lands, wildlife parks, and trails. This project is definitely on priority land as when it was bought, it was one of the only available parcels of land on the Georgia Coast not slated for development. We were awarded the one of the largest shares of the funds going to local governments to keep it that way.
Some in the community fish from their boats around the docks frequently and I can’t wait to bring that experience to everyone. With St. Catherines and Ossabaw Islands within sight of the docks and access to the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean just 9 nautical miles away, this is an ideal location for boaters who want to fish inshore or offshore. That is something I’m sure the shrimpers knew when they used the Co-Op in the 70’s and 80’s.
The grant will be matched locally by $1.5 million in SPLOST dollars allocated in this year’s budget. We bought the land in 2020 with a vision of making it a recreational opportunity that offers everyone access to the waterfront and includes walking trails and other amenities. We only have a few years to complete this project with this grant, so we plan to begin work as soon as the fall of 2022. The planned improvements of this initial phase include boat ramps, floating docks, parking, trails, and more to make a complete park for all. These upgrades will clean up the current land, create new recreation without damaging the surrounding ecosystem, and create a space to host community events.
At this point, we are in the review process with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
We will continue working with DNR to find the most efficient use of the property and they have indicated that they are willing to participate in the project as well. We can also reapply for the GOSP grant in the future to get more funds to fully build the park.
As the Georgia coast becomes more populated and has less public greenspace and public access to water, this project ensures that we will always have that opportunity for Bryan County and surrounding areas. I am happy to be able to work to provide that as your Chairman. Thank you, as always, for allowing me to serve.
Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commisson.