– September 14, 2022 –

Sinking tax base

Coastal Georgia isn’t seeing home values sink yet, but some people signing up for a 30-year mortgage today will see the effects of sea level rise on their home’s value before they pay off the loan, the nonprofit Climate Central predicts.

The group analyzed how much of the nation’s taxable land lies vulnerable to rising waters. In Georgia they estimate about 100 square miles may shift at least partially beneath tidal boundary levels by 2050. If communities fail to plan for sea level rise they could be facing a huge loss in property tax revenue. The analysis predicts the value of taxable properties in Chatham would decrease by about $2 billion, as GPB’s Benjamin Payne reports.

The bottom line: local governments need to plan to move people away from rising water without pushing out neighborhoods on higher ground. “Find other economies that you might invest in that aren’t necessarily in the risk zones,” said Mark Rupp, who directs Georgetown University’s climate change adaptation program. “That’s all important for local governments to be planning.”

Coastal development stands along the Tybee Island beachfront in Chatham County, Georgia. Such development could be threatened by sea level rise by mid-century. Credit: Benjamin Payne / GPB News

Get the most out of compost

Composting offers a way to reduce food waste and your carbon footprint at home, advises Drawdown Georgia, a statewide initiative working to find climate solutions for the Peach State. So with the help of experts from the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, Drawdown Georgia has created a comprehensive toolkit all about composting.

The “How to Compost at Home in Georgia” toolkit walks the user through the process of starting a compost system at home and the benefits of composting. Not able to compost at home? The guide includes composting programs across the state, including paid services like Code of Return in Savannah, which now offers curbside pickup.

Visit the new Drawdown Georgia “How to Compost at Home in Georgia” toolkit to get started.

Adding compost. Courtesy Georgia Drawdown

BEACH ADVISORIES: As of this writing, bacteria-related beach water advisories are posted for two beaches on St. Simons Island: the Fifth Street Crossover Beach and South Beach at the Lighthouse.
Permanent advisories are in place for 3 beaches in the Coastal Health District. They are: Clam Creek Beach and St. Andrews Beach on Jekyll Island and King’s Ferry County Park on the Ogeechee River.
Before you head to the beach, check the link to see current notices.
Trail’s end at the beach on Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Dan Chapman/FWS

Accidental environmentalists

There’s some irony in Georgia attracting billion of dollars in investment recently in electric vehicle manufacturing. The state isn’t a leader in setting climate goals, as Emily Jones of WABE/Grist reports. In fact, Georgia has no emissions reduction goals and charges EV owners an annual fee of more than $200, among the highest in the nation.

December 2021 report by the Centers for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, found that many states without what it called “climate ambition” are still pursuing the economic opportunities of clean energy. Count Georgia among them.

Stan Cross of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a nonprofit advocacy group, said Georgia could profit both environmentally and economically from promoting not only the production but also the adoption of electric vehicles. That’s because Georgia doesn’t produce oil, an argument that Republican Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols also makes in favor of electric vehicles.

“It’s about stopping the hemorrhage of dollars leaving the state every time you pump gas and diesel,” he said. “Keep those dollars in the state by driving electric.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (right) speaks with Jay Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company (right), and José Muñoz, President and COO of Hyundai Motor Company (center), at an event on Friday announcing the construction of a $5.5 billion Hyundai factory in Georgia. Credit: Emily Jones/WABE Credit: Emily Jones/WABE

If you have feedback, questions, concerns, or just like what you see, let us know at thecurrentga@gmail.com.

As sea levels rise, Coastal Georgia’s property tax base could sink, new analysis says

The nonprofit Climate Central is urging coastal communities to diversify their local economies, as sea-level rise jeopardizes their property tax bases.

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Living shorelines research aids fight against sea level rise

Living shorelines are proven to be environmentally beneficial and resilient against the effects of rising sea levels, but for decades, bulkheads have been the go-to technology for government agencies and private property owners in need of erosion protection along the coast.

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Georgia doesn’t want climate targets — but it does want green jobs

Should Georgia, and other red states, do more to nudge the market in a cleaner direction? Some say businesses are already doing the job.

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EVs in short supply, high demand in Georgia

Some dealers are charging thousands above the sticker price for in-demand EVs.

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Support non-partisan, solutions-based investigative journalism without bias, fear or favor on issues affecting Savannah and Coastal Georgia.


Mary Landers covers Coastal Georgia’s environment for The Current, a topic she covered for nearly 24 years at the Savannah Morning News, where she began and ended her time there writing about health,...