I joined a faculty development trip to Ossabaw Island, one of the few undeveloped barrier islands on the Georgia coast, in November. The island is restricted in its use to academic pursuits (both science- and humanities-related), and its wildlife is managed by the Georgia-DNR… there are quite a few wild boar on the island.
Some areas apparently received prescribed burns. The thick leaf litter from the maritime forests smolders slowly, and the thick bark of the pines and live oaks protect them well.
Changes in the salinity of the brackish marshes have wiped out some of the cabbage palm lining the marsh’s highlands. Forests of dead palm remain, perforated by woodpeckers.
These salinity changes are likely a result of sea level rise.
Snails and concrete
Some images from kayaking under the new Harry Truman bridge spanning the Vernon River and Salt Marsh. The Fiddler crabs and Marsh Periwinkle take refuge on a few of the support pillars.
Behind the dunes, live oak Quercus virginiana dominate the canopy of the maritime forest on much of Cumberland Island. The oaks are covered in epiphytes and lichens, including resurrection ferns and Spanish moss, and the under story is thick with saw palmetto.