Learn about our areas of experties involving state crimes, and better understand your rights.
Learn about our areas of experties involving state crimes, and better understand your rights.
If you are accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your freedom and a verdict of "guilty" is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Talahi Island, GA.
Those who have been arrested before know that life in the legal system is no laughing matter. Aside from the imminent ramifications of fines and jail time, any goals you have of bettering yourself and advancing your life could be compromised. Without a trusted attorney by your side, you could face a lifetime of embarrassment and poor employment prospects due to a tarnished criminal record.
The good news? Dennis O'Brien and his team of experienced lawyers in Talahi Island are ready to clear your name. By retaining the help of a criminal defense attorney early in the legal process, you have a much better chance of securing your freedom and living a life as a productive member of society.
At O'Brien Law Firm PC, our practice was founded to fight for the rights of individuals accused of or charged with a crime. Our team of legal experts is well-equipped to take even the most difficult, contentious cases. From violent felonies to DUI, there is nothing we haven't seen and handled. As a former law enforcement officer, founding attorney Dennis O'Brien knows exactly how much a person can lose if convicted. That's why we work tirelessly to secure a verdict that is favorable for our clients.
Regardless of how serious or minor your case may be, know that we will fight fearlessly on your behalf. You deserve zealous representation - when you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, you will receive nothing less.
Many of our clients are surprised to discover that founding lawyer Dennis O'Brien was a police officer prior to his criminal defense career. As a former Field Training Officer for the Memphis Police Department, he has over two decades of knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system. Dennis truly understands the nuance and complexities involved in a criminal defense case. This rare experience gives Dennis a clear edge in any criminal defense case and gives clients priceless peace of mind when they need it the most. Unlike some criminal defense attorneys in Talahi Island, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Talahi Island criminal defense firms will take weekends off or pass along cases to paralegals, Dennis personally reviews each of his cases. There is no case too small or big for O'Brien Law Firm PC. When you hire our firm, you can rest easy knowing that we will be by your side when the going gets tough.
When you are charged with a drug crime in Talahi Island, it can change your life forever. Georgia imposes very strict punishments for drug offenses. The truth is, it's hard to get your life back on track with a drug charge on your record. Your freedom and way of life could be in the hands of your criminal defense attorney. As such, you need a competent lawyer with years of experience handling drug cases. Leaving your fate in the hands of an incompetent attorney could have long-lasting effects on your family and may result in a conviction.
While the consequences for a drug crime in Georgia are serious, there's reason to be hopeful: O'Brien Law Firm PC is here to fight for you. Remember - being charged with a drug crime is NOT the same thing as being convicted.
Our stellar team has represented many clients facing numerous drug-related charges. While each situation varies, one constant remains the same for clients facing drug charges: a fear of what lies ahead. At O'Brien Law Firm PC our job is to help you overcome the fear of the unknown. We do so by ensuring you understand your charges, the possible outcomes associated with those charges, and the options you need to consider from a criminal defense standpoint.
No matter what charge you are facing, our team has the experience and resources to build a comprehensive defense strategy for your drug case in Talahi Island, GA. Without a criminal defense attorney acting as your advocate, you could be facing very harsh penalties. Here are a few punishments you could be facing for drug crimes in Talahi Island:
Having less than a gram (or one milliliter for liquids) of this type of drug results in a prison term of one to three years. Having four grams or milliliter carries a term of one to eight years.
Any substance on this list is punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years.
If you have less than two grams or milliliters of this substance, punishments can be between one year and three years. Having up to four grams or milliliters results in a prison sentence of one to eight years.
Those who are in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are subject to a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Fines may be no more than $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana can result in a prison term of one to 10 years.
To avoid these life-changing punishments, you must take action now. Contact O'Brien Law Firm today for a consultation about your case.Contact Me!
Violent crime offenses in Talahi Island typically involve some form of bodily harm to another individual, actions committed against an individual's will, or threatening someone with bodily harm. Aggravated violent offenses are more severe charges and often occur when a violent crime is made more serious due to circumstances like deadly weapons.
Much like serious drug cases, violent crimes create an added layer of negativity that follows the accused for the rest of their life. In these cases, even an accusation is enough to cause irreparable damage to a person's reputation. Those convicted of a violent crime face severe penalties that can include years in a correctional facility.
When you are accused of any of the above crimes, your freedom hangs in the balance. The outcome of your case will determine whether you leave the courtroom with your freedom intact or stripped away to serve time behind bars. Because the punishments for violent crimes are so extreme, you should be seeking legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney in Talahi Island, GA, as soon as possible. As a former police officer with a long record of positive verdicts in violent crime cases, Dennis O'Brien is well equipped to represent you in court.
|Having a criminal defense lawyer by your side is the best way to avoid the serious punishments associated with violent crimes. These punishments usually result in prison time if convicted and include:
|Up to 20 years
|Up to 12 months
|10 to 20 years
|Up to 20 years
|One to 20 years
|Up to 15 years
|Life in prison or the death sentence
As a former police officer, Dennis O'Brien has seen the toll it takes on a person when charged with a crime. His time in law enforcement allows him to empathize with his clients who desperately need competent representation. Despite being innocent until proven guilty, accusations are scary, and conviction could be a reality. That is why you must work with a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer in Talahi Island, GA who will work tirelessly to clear your name.
Clients choose O'Brien Law Firm because we believe in open communication, honesty, and hard work. It is not our job to act as judges for those who have been accused of crimes. Rather, our goal is to find the best defense that allows us to protect our clients' rights and freedoms.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common crimes committed in Georgia. Punishments for such a crime can be severe, and for understandable reasons - when a person operates a vehicle while they are intoxicated, they're putting their life and the lives of others at risk.
While DUI is a serious crime that completely upend the accused's life, the earnest desire to end drunk driving can make police officers too eager to catch a person who they believe is under the influence.
The city of Talahi Island, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Talahi Island could face:
Fortunately, if you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, there is hope. This is particularly true when the accused is administered a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve a breath and/or blood test are beaten daily. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, we will dive deep into your DUI case in Talahi Island and examine every angle possible for your case to be dismissed. Here are just a few questions our team will investigate:
There are numerous ways to beat a DUI case in Georgia, from unreliable field sobriety tests to inaccurate state-administered breath tests. As a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Talahi Island, GA, Dennis O'Brien has the knowledge and experience to expose the state's mistakes and fight for your rights. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC your chances of dismissal are greatly increased. When your case is dismissed, you can continue living life without the burden of a criminal record.
For many, Tybee Island near Savannah is the go-to spot to spend a hot summer day on the beach. Every year, the long beachline attracts tourists from around the country to the sands.However, there’s history sprinkled around the island that is now easier to find than ever before.For the past few years, a team of researchers at Georgia Southern University has been collecting the stories and historic layout of the island. Specifically, landmarks from slavery and up to the Civil Rights Movement.As a final product, the t...
For many, Tybee Island near Savannah is the go-to spot to spend a hot summer day on the beach. Every year, the long beachline attracts tourists from around the country to the sands.
However, there’s history sprinkled around the island that is now easier to find than ever before.
For the past few years, a team of researchers at Georgia Southern University has been collecting the stories and historic layout of the island. Specifically, landmarks from slavery and up to the Civil Rights Movement.
As a final product, the team launched a digital trail for visitors to follow; from the Lazaretto Creek quarantine station for enslaved people, to the Brown Cement Factory and other important sites on the island.
Georgia Southern’s Amy Potter, Ph.D., associate professor of geography, said the idea is for Tybee visitors as well as Savannah and Tybee residents to learn about this historically thriving population not often associated with the island, many of whom were also Gullah Geechee people.
“This is so important to our regional history,” said Potter. “We’re talking about those histories that were not that long ago. We were also thinking a bit more about what this community historically looked like and meant to the people who lived and worked here.”
The trail, which consists of 13 stops, features countless stories that bring these locations to life. Many of these stories were uncovered through personal interviews conducted by Potter and her then-student researcher Joyah Mitchell.
Before graduating in 2022 with a bachelor’s in geography, Mitchell helped Potter and the Tybee MLK Human Rights Organization interview descendants and build the trail map.
Mitchell said it was difficult to know when to stop the interviews, because there’s always more to learn about any given site. Additionally, she said there were hurdles in finding the next source of information.
“This project was supposed to be informed by African-American residents, but it was kind of hard to find those people,” said Mitchell. “Many of the former residents left during the recession because they couldn’t afford to stay there anymore. So we were finding a lot of non-Black perspectives, which is great, but we don’t want to whitewash the story that’s being told.”
It wasn’t just informational hurdles Mitchell had to overcome to put the pieces of this puzzle together. In order to find the information, there was a lot of cold-calling, door-knocking and asking questions on difficult topics.
“I’m extremely shy and reserved,” she said. “It’s something I’m having to warm up to, especially given the realm of the career field I’m going into. I can do it.”
The Ellenwood, Georgia, native credits her passion for this field and the topic at hand for helping her overcome this shyness. As a result, she helped build a map of societies from the past. Now, she’s looking to build maps for societies of the future.
Today, Mitchell is an intern for the city of Douglasville, Georgia. While she helps run the office before heading off to graduate school, she takes in whatever she can as she begins her life in city planning.
Parkinson’s Disease is the world’s fastest-growing neurological disorder and the second-most prevalent brain disease in the United States. Ninety percent of people with Parkinson’s are at risk of losing their ability to speak and swallowing complications are the main cause of death in this population.
Georgia Southern is one of 16 universities across the country selected this year to receive this grant as part of Parkinson Voice Project’s “Campaign to Reach America.” “We selected the RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders because of their compassion and their commitment to serving their Parkinson’s community,” says Elandary. “These new SPEAK OUT! Therapy & Research Centers will eliminate the barriers currently preventing thousands of people with Parkinson’s from receiving speech treatment,” she says. Speech and swallowing issues in Parkinson’s are life-altering and life-threatening. This is an urgent problem, and patients and families are desperate for help, according to Elandary.
The grant is part of the SPEAK OUT!® Therapy & Research Center. SPEAK OUT! is a highly effective, research-based speech therapy protocol that can also minimize the risk of life-threatening swallowing complications, according to Samantha Elandary, founder and CEO of Parkinson Voice Project.
“We believe fully in the remarkable outcomes of SPEAK OUT! Therapy due to research and our clinical experience. We have had countless patients whose lives have been positively impacted due to this program,” says Tori Caneda, clinic coordinator at the RiteCare Center, who serves as the clinical lead for the Georgia SPEAK OUT! Therapy & Research Center.
Through this collaboration, the Georgia Southern clinic will specialize in online treatment delivery and commit to providing SPEAK OUT! Therapy at no cost to any person in Georgia diagnosed with Parkinson’s or a related movement disorder. This will enable patients who are homebound, don’t drive, or who live in rural areas to now receive the speech therapy they need while eliminating insurance and financial barriers. The University will also conduct efficacy research on SPEAK OUT! Therapy.
Parkinson Voice Project is awarding more than $4.5 million in these collaborations.
Sparked by the Pandemic
Elandary credits the pandemic for sparking the concept of the SPEAK OUT! Therapy & Research Centers. “When we transitioned our speech therapy clinic to an online telepractice during the shutdown, we found our patients did better with that mode of therapy. Many barriers that previously prevented patients from receiving speech treatment were immediately eliminated. Patients who were homebound, lived in rural areas, or had transportation challenges could now receive treatment,” she says.
“Online therapy is easier and more convenient for this patient population that also struggles with mobility and physical challenges.” Elandary’s team observed that online therapy also made it easier for family members and friends from across the world to participate in therapy sessions by simply hopping onto a ZOOM call.
In March 2020, Elandary’s clinical team also began hosting “SPEAK OUT! Home Practice Sessions” on their website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel five days a week. More than 3,000 patients participate in these online sessions each day. With this added practice support, patients are improving and reaching their speech therapy goals faster than they did before the pandemic, she notes.
About the $20 Million Campaign to Reach America
In December 2021, Parkinson Voice Project officially launched its $20 million “Campaign to Reach America” to financially secure its headquarters in Richardson, Texas and help support 50 Therapy & Research Centers – one in every state across America. Parkinson Voice Project has raised over $11 million towards the campaign and plans to continue the campaign until all 50 states are sponsored. For more information on the Campaign to Reach America, please visit www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org/Campaign-To-Reach-America.
About SPEAK OUT!
Parkinson Voice Project’s comprehensive SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program combines interlocking components, including education for both the patient and family, individual speech therapy, a specialized workbook, weekly speech and singing group sessions, daily home practice, and re-evaluations every three-to-six months. People with Parkinson’s who adhere to the SPEAK OUT! protocol have been shown to maintain their treatment results for 12+ years and counting.
About Parkinson Voice Project
Parkinson Voice Project was established in 2005 and is dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s regain and retain their speech and swallowing. They treat patients in their Texas clinic and train speech-language pathologists and graduate students worldwide. Their SPEAK OUT! Workbook is available in eight languages: English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. Since 2008, the organization has not charged for their therapy services. Their program is primarily funded by charitable gifts and pay-it-forward donations from grateful patients and their families and friends. Parkinson Voice Project maintains a score of 100 on CharityNavigator.org. To learn more, visit www.ParkinsonVoiceProject.org
Home to mountains, lakes, rivers, and lush forests, Georgia is a dream destination for anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. One of the state's best natural features is its impressive coastline. With 110 miles of Atlantic shoreline, plus 15 barrier islands (four of which can be reached by car), the Peach State boasts an abundance of quaint coastal towns perfect for your next weekend getaway.From the majestic marshes of ...
Home to mountains, lakes, rivers, and lush forests, Georgia is a dream destination for anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. One of the state's best natural features is its impressive coastline. With 110 miles of Atlantic shoreline, plus 15 barrier islands (four of which can be reached by car), the Peach State boasts an abundance of quaint coastal towns perfect for your next weekend getaway.
From the majestic marshes of Jekyll Island to the wild dunes of Sapelo Island to the historic lighthouses of Tybee Island, there's something special to see no matter where your travels take you. Here are nine of Georgia's best coastal towns. Extend your stay with a road trip encompassing a few of your favorites from this list.
01 of 09
Just 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Savannah, Tybee Island's five miles of pristine sand beaches have beckoned vacationers since the late 1800s. First-time visitors should stop at Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse and the North Beach Birding Trail. Order the Seafood Sampler Platter at Crab Shack or a hand-dipped ice cream cone at longtime favorite The Sugar Shack for a bit of local flavor.
One of Georgia's largest barrier islands, St. Simons Island, is known for its wide variety of things to do. In addition to typical water activities like fishing, swimming, and kayaking, there's also plenty to explore in town, including art and antique shops, farmer's markets, wine tastings, live music, and great restaurants. The Pier Village downtown is great for spending an afternoon shopping, strolling, and sipping. Learn more about the island's history at Fort Frederica National Monument, the WWII museum, and the historic St. Simons Island Lighthouse.
Sea Island and its crowned jewel, The Cloister, is your spot for a luxurious coastal getaway. The resort offers four Forbes Five-Star experiences, including a spa, the Georgian Room restaurant, and two options where to stay: a classic hotel experience at The Cloister or a boutique resort experience at The Lodge. The giant compound has everything you need for a relaxing vacation, including three pools, a private beach, and seven dining venues.
In a former life, Jekyll Island was the preferred winter retreat for some of America's wealthiest families, including the Rockefellers, Pulitzers, and Vanderbilts. Today, it's an everyman's beachside destination focusing on environmental education. Head to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to see the endangered species up close. At Tidelands Nature Center, explore marshes, beaches, and maritime forests. Kayak tours of the island's many tidal creeks are also available. Round out your trip with a visit to iconic Driftwood Beach to see giant weathered trees preserved by the salty air.
Accessible only via ferry from St. Marys, this largely undeveloped island is a welcome retreat for anyone looking for peace and quiet. Consider the Greyfield Inn if you prefer pampering. It's a bed and breakfast that once was the home of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie's daughter. If you've got an adventurous spirit, become one with nature by camping at Cumberland Island National Seashore. The campgrounds offer restroom facilities, showers, and several boardwalks to the beach. No matter where you choose to stay, all should visit Dungeness ruins, a massive estate built by the Carnegies in 1884 that burned down in the 1950s. Today, wild horses and other island wildlife roam the grounds right on the beach.
06 of 09
Mainland sister city to the Golden Isles, Brunswick is your quintessential port town. Laid out in a grid system similar to Savannah, exploring this historic hamlet is easy. Start at Historic Downtown Brunswick, also known as Old Town Brunswick, where an ongoing project to restore historic buildings is underway. Check out the distinctive clock tower at Old City Hall and the Ritz Theatre. The town is also known for its fishing and shrimping industry. You can try your hand at the later on the Lady Jane, the only shrimp vessel on the east coast certified to carry 49 passengers offshore. After a two-hour cruise, you'll indulge in your catch at a giant shrimp boil. And, of course, you can't leave without trying a bowl of Brunswick's signature stew.
07 of 09
Often referred to as the Gateway to Cumberland Island, St. Marys is a destination in its own right. Spend some time exploring this historic coastal town's shops, restaurants, and attractions. Then head to Crook River State Park to take full advantage of the Intracoastal Waterway and lush maritime forests. Visitors can choose their adventure with an afternoon spent hiking, biking, fishing, or kayaking. Be sure to look out for all shapes and sizes of coastal wildlife, from fiddler crabs and herons to gopher tortoises. Rent one of 11 cottages or reserve a campsite if you want to stay the night.
08 of 09
This tiny coastal town wedged between Savannah and Brunswick was once a thriving port. Today Darien sparkles for its beautiful scenery, expansive waterfront park, and charming historic district. As the second oldest planned city in Georgia and the first to hold a fort, there's plenty of history in Darien. Take advantage of the Fort King George State Historic Site and the Old Jail Arts Center and Museum. Part of the Coastal Birding Trail, Darien is a great place to see almost 75 percent of the total bird species in Georgia. And with an abundance of rivers and access to the ocean, Darien is also an angler's paradise.
09 of 09
Accessible only by ferry, this barrier island holds one of the most pristine, unspoiled stretches of beach of any of Georgia's coastal towns. Walk among the natural sea dunes at Nanny Goat Beach while you comb the shore for shells and other sea life like starfish and sand dollars. Don't leave the island without learning more about its Gullah Geechee community at Hog Hammock and visiting the picturesque Sapelo Island Lighthouse with its iconic red-and-white stripes.
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Millions of dollars have been invested in something that could wash away when a hurricane hits: the dunes on Tybee Island.When a tropical system approaches the Georgia and South Carolina coast, they become our first line of defense.On October 8, 2016, Hurricane Mathew bought a seven to 10 foot storm surge to the 19th Street area on Tybee Island. The aftermath was devastating to many locals and businesses that were left nearly two to three feet underwater in the community. Not to mention, it also left ...
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Millions of dollars have been invested in something that could wash away when a hurricane hits: the dunes on Tybee Island.
When a tropical system approaches the Georgia and South Carolina coast, they become our first line of defense.
On October 8, 2016, Hurricane Mathew bought a seven to 10 foot storm surge to the 19th Street area on Tybee Island. The aftermath was devastating to many locals and businesses that were left nearly two to three feet underwater in the community. Not to mention, it also left the Island with a near $3 million tab for clean-up and rehabilitation.
Following this devastation, a few years ago Tybee Island did decide to take extra safety precautions and rebuild on the island to further protect it from any future tropical systems.
“The breath and length of your beach is your first line of defense, and the dunes are your second line of defense, and they act together. In 2020, the city decided to build some dunes where they don’t typically grow, and to augment dunes that had been damaged in prior storms Mathew, Irma, Maria,” said Alan Robertson, Head of Tybee Resilience Project.
While they may not look like much. The Sand Dunes are stabilized with large polypropylene bags filled with beach-quality sand. So, they can take the weight of the water when these tropical systems are approaching.
“Dunes are sacrificial. Alright, they are to take the storm surge. Which has happened on the south end of the island. So, if we had a dramatic storm surge you might see a dune like this cleaved in half. Ok, perfect that’s what it did. It absorbed that pressure and kept it from going inland. Then, we just come back in to add more sand and repair it.”
For something, designed and created just to be broken,you’d be surprised how much these sand dunes cost.
“To build the dunes and vegetate the dunes, probably a million dollars. Yeah know, Tybee’s budget is 16-18 Million dollars a year. If you lose a season, That’s dramatic. So, the dunes might cost you 5 to 10 percent of what you’re trying to save. Seems like a good deal.”
And the best part about it is. The longer we go without any tropical systems. The stronger these dunes get, each day and each year to further protect us in the future.
Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island is gearing up for tens of thousands of visitors this Memorial Day weekend.The holiday marks the kickoff of the summer beach season for many, when large crowds start hitting the sand almost every weekend.This comes a few weeks after the beach community had what city leaders called a chaotic time during Orange Crush.“It was not like this the other day. You can see people funneling in,” said Michelle Siegert, who is visiting from New Jersey.The city is preparing for...
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island is gearing up for tens of thousands of visitors this Memorial Day weekend.
The holiday marks the kickoff of the summer beach season for many, when large crowds start hitting the sand almost every weekend.
This comes a few weeks after the beach community had what city leaders called a chaotic time during Orange Crush.
“It was not like this the other day. You can see people funneling in,” said Michelle Siegert, who is visiting from New Jersey.
The city is preparing for a busy stretch with officials saying last Memorial Day weekend 150,000 people visited Tybee beaches.
“Today is half more than when we first got here. There’s probably 50% more people,” said Tammy McLellan, visiting from Indiana.
To prepare, the island will have extra officers on duty and lifeguards patrolling the beach.
From Friday to Monday, traffic controls will be in effect.
Southbound Traffic on Butler Avenue will not be able to turn left onto 15th Street or Tybrisa Street.
Inlet Avenue will be closed to traffic as needed.
And now as the city prepares for a crowded weekend, another large unpermitted event could be in store for the island later this summer.
Social media posts are advertising an event called “Turnt Island” in conjunction with Orange Crush organizers scheduled on Tybee the weekend before July 4th.
Flyers promoting the event claim it will be the south’s biggest July 4th beach bash with over 10,000 people expected.
During last month’s Orange Crush party, the island’s leaders came under scrutiny after the roads went into gridlock with nearly 20 arrests and more than 300 emergency calls made in one weekend.
In response to the possible July 4th party, Tybee’s mayor said in a statement that the island is aware of the flyers advertising a non-permitted event saying in part....
”We have been in touch with our county and state officials (including GDOT, CEMA, GEMA) who have ensured their assistance if needed. Multiple actions are being taken to stop these public safety activities from disrupting our residents, businesses and visitors.”
Again, the “Turnt Island” event is being promoted by some of the organizers involved in the recent Orange Crush event.
An event several agencies said they could have better prepared for.
Our investigative team poured over many pages of documents about how the city handled preparations for Orange Crush.
Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. – Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, and the Engineer Research and Development Center reported the findings from their ship wake study to the Tybee Island city council on Tybee Island, Ga. on Jan. 26, 2023.
Jared Lopes, water resources planner for the Savannah District, led the overview of the study before handing it over to Dr. Richard Styles, research oceanographer from the ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, for a more detailed analysis. After the presentation, they fielded questions from Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions and the six-member city council. Dr. Rachel Bain, research physical scientist also from the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, coauthored the study, but wasn’t present at the council meeting.
The study was set into motion amid concerns regarding the ongoing risk to beachgoers from vessel-generated wakes on Tybee Island’s northern shore, said Lopes. The goal of the study was to develop a better understanding of vessel traffic patterns and associated boat wakes generated by large commercial vessels.
“It was a rewarding experience being able to work closely with Dr. Bain and Dr. Styles from ERDC and the City of Tybee Island on this study,” said Lopes. “I was eager to present the final briefing at the Tybee City Council meeting, as the results of this study hold ample potential for helping mitigate the impacts of ship wake on the northern shore of Tybee Island.”
Vessel operations and environmental conditions were monitored between late July and early December 2021, where such factors as size, speed, type, and heading of each ship, the types of waves created by those ships, and tidal currents were observed.
The study findings discovered that the largest vessel wakes were generated from container ships and vehicle carriers, ships that traveled faster than 12 knots, and ships that were longer and wider than average. Other lesser influences included tidal currents, wind waves, and vessel direction.
“Despite the fact that wakes generated by commercial vessels tend to be larger than those created by wind, wind waves constitute a more considerable source of continuous energy for moving sediment in the area,” said Lopes. “This is because large vessels pass the beach infrequently, an average of 12 passages per day, whereas wind waves break on the beach continuously.”
Instruments used to record this data included the sensors mounted on U.S. Coast Guard navigation ranges, pressure sensors mounted below water, near-shore sensors, and information commercial vessels submitted to the Coast Guard’s Automated Information System.
The study concluded that the next steps should explore the best approaches of reducing vessel-generated wave impacts. Two options were suggested: Modify navigation conditions to reduce wave heights near the source; or reduce the height of the waves near the shoreline.
Several strategies were recommended to achieve those two suggestions, including reducing maximum ship speed, refurbish and extend the south jetty, install nearshore breakwaters, channel modifications, channel realignment, and active warning system. However, the study observed that those recommendations do not address the potentially substantial engineering requirements needed to implement those strategies.
The cost of the study was $350,000 and was split equally between the Corps and the City of Tybee Island, whose cost-share was supported by a Georgia Department of Community Affairs grant.
The 90-page study was published on Dec. 1, 2022, and can be read here: https://erdc-library.erdc.dren.mil/jspui/handle/11681/46140