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CASE STUDY: Fuel Storage Improvements, Sapelo Island, Georgia Only 11 miles in length, Sapelo Island is part of Georgia’s “Colonial Coast.” Since 1975, the state of Georgia has owned approximately 97 percent of the island, which is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The rest of the island is under private ownership. Sapelo Island is home to the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR), which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve system (NERR), and the University of Georgia Marine Institute. Indigenous wildlife on the island include whitetail deer, wild turkey, armadillo, and wild hogs and cattle. The island is also a birders’ paradise, with many different species that can be spotted on the island permanently or seasonally, including the rare Guatemalan Chachalaca, which was imported as a game bird many years ago. The Reynold’s Mansion, a historic site that is now a bed and breakfast, also lies on the south end of the island. Built from tabby, a mixture of lime, shells and water by Thomas Spalding, an architect, statesman and plantation owner who purchased the south end of the island in 1802, the Mansion served as the Spalding Plantation Manor from 1810 until the Civil War. Damaged during the Civil War, the Mansion was rebuilt by a Detroit automotive engineer named Howard Coffin in 1912. Tobacco-heir Richard Reynolds purchased the property in 1934, and allowed the University of Georgia to use the facilities for marine research. Following Reynolds' death in 1964, DNR obtained the Mansion and most of the island. The Fuel Storage Tank Program (FSTP) replaced underground storage tank components at two locations on Sapelo Island. The equipment at DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division’s Meridian Boat Dock and the fuel station on Sapelo Island were severely deteriorated because of the harsh saltwater environment. GEFA facilitated replacing the old containment sumps and installed all new pumping components, metal conduits and other equipment. The new equipment will prevent potential fuel system failures and dramatically reduce potential environmental hazards in the future. Sapelo Island serves as an important historic and ecological research site. The FSTP protects Georgia’s land and water resources, as well as its wildlife, through the management and monitoring of fuel storage tanks, ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

Fuel Storage Improvements, Sapelo Island, Georgia  
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