Title 12, Chapter 5, Section 232
As used in this part, the term:
(1) "Applicant" means any person who files an application for a
permit under this part.
(2) "Bare sand surface" means an area of nearly level
unconsolidated sand landward of the ordinary high-water mark which
does not contain sufficient indigenous vegetation to maintain its
(3) "Barrier islands" means the following islands: Daufuskie,
Tybee, Little Tybee, Petit Chou, Williamson, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St.
Catherines, Blackbeard, Sapelo, Cabretta, Wolf, Egg, Little St.
Simons, Sea, St. Simons, Jekyll, Little Cumberland, Cumberland,
Amelia, and any ocean-facing island which is formed in the future
and which has multiple ridges of sand, gravel, or mud built on the
seashore by waves and currents; ridges generally parallel to the
shore; and areas of vegetation.
(4) "Beach" means a zone of unconsolidated material that extends
landward from the ordinary low-water mark to the line of permanent
(5) "Board" means the Board of Natural Resources.
(6) "Boardwalk" or "crosswalk" means a nonhabitable structure,
usually made of wood and without a paved or poured surface of any
kind, whose primary purpose is to provide access to or use of the
beach, while maintaining the stability of any sand dunes it
(7) "Committee" means the Shore Protection Committee.
(8) "Dynamic dune field" means the dynamic area of beach and sand
dunes, varying in height and width, the ocean boundary of which
extends to the ordinary high-water mark and the landward boundary
of which is the first occurrence either of live native trees 20
feet in height or greater or of a structure existing on July 1,
1979. The landward boundary of the dynamic dune field shall be
the seaward most line connecting any such tree or structure as set
forth in this part to any other such tree or structure if the
distance between the two is a reasonable distance not to exceed
250 feet. In determining what is a reasonable distance for
purposes of this paragraph, topography, dune stability,
vegetation, lot configuration, existing structures, distance from
the ordinary high-water mark, and other relevant information shall
be taken into consideration in order to conserve the vital
functions of the sand-sharing system. If a real estate appraiser
certified pursuant to Chapter 39A of Title 43 determines that an
existing structure, shoreline engineering activity, or other
alteration which forms part of the landward boundary of the
dynamic dune field has been more than 80 percent destroyed by
storm driven water or erosion, the landward boundary of the
dynamic dune field shall be determined as though such structure
had not been in existence on July 1, 1979.
(9) "Erosion" means the wearing away of land whereby materials are
removed from the sand dunes, beaches, and shore face by natural
processes, including, but not limited to, wave action, tidal
currents, littoral currents, and wind.
(10) "Local unit of government" means a county, as defined by Code Section 36-1-1, or an incorporated municipality, as defined by Code Section 36-40-21, or any combination thereof which has been authorized by an Act of the General Assembly, any of which has within its jurisdiction any sand dune or beach.
(11) "Ordinary high-water mark" means the position along the shore
of the mean monthly spring high tide reached during the most
recent tidal epoch. This term is not synonymous with "mean"
(12) "Ordinary low-water mark" means the position along the shore
of the mean monthly spring low tide reached during the most recent
tidal epoch. This term is not synonymous with "mean" low-water
(13) "Permit-issuing authority" means the Shore Protection
Committee or a local unit of government which has adopted a
program of shore protection which meets the standards of this part
and which has been certified by the board as an approved program.
(14) "Person" means any association, individual, partnership,
corporation, public or private authority, or local unit of
government, and shall include the State of Georgia and all its
departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities, any other
government agencies or instrumentalities, and any other legal
(15) "Sand dunes" means mounds of sand deposited along a coastline
by wind action, which mounds are often covered with sparse,
pioneer vegetation and are located landward of the ordinary
high-water mark and may extend into the tree line.
(16) "Sand-sharing system" means an interdependent sediment system
composed of sand dunes, beaches, and offshore bars and shoals.
(17) "Shoreline engineering activity" means an activity which
encompasses any artificial method of altering the natural
topography or vegetation of the sand dunes, beaches, bars,
submerged shoreline lands, and other components of the
sand-sharing system. This includes, but is not limited to, such
(A) Grading, clearing vegetation, excavating earth, or
landscaping, where such activities are for purposes other than
erection of a structure;
(B) Artificial dune construction;
(C) Beach restoration or renourishment;
(D) Erosion control activities, including, but not limited to,
the construction and maintenance of groins and jetties;
(E) Shoreline stabilization activities, including, but not
limited to, the construction and maintenance of seawalls and
riprap protection; and
(F) The construction and maintenance of pipelines and piers.
(18) "Stable sand dune" means a sand dune that is maintained in a
steady state of neither erosion nor accretion by indigenous
(19) "Structure" means an institutional, residential, commercial,
or industrial building.
(20) "Submerged shoreline lands" means the intertidal and
submerged lands from the ordinary high-water mark seaward to the
limit of the state's jurisdiction in the Atlantic Ocean.
(21) "Tidal epoch" means the variations in the major
tide-producing forces that result from changes in the moon's
phase, declination of the earth, distance of the moon from the
earth, and regression of the moon's modes, and which go through
one complete cycle in approximately 19 years.