Discover the Lowest Point in Georgia

Written by Janet F. Murray
Updated: May 30, 2023
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The lowest point in Georgia is the Atlantic Ocean on the state’s east coast. The Georgia Coast consists of more than 100 miles of coastline, 14 barrier islands, and 300 square miles of vast Atlantic Ocean. Other features of this area comprise nine major estuaries, 3,400 miles of tidal coastline, a vast freshwater tide including forests and marine forests, and long-leaf pine forests.

Atlantic Ocean

Georgia’s lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean on the state’s east coast.

©Susann Guenther/Shutterstock.com

Lowest Point in Georgia: The Georgia Coast

The Georgia coast is approximately 100 miles in length and home to many diverse ecosystems. Coastal habitats are a high level of importance for this area because of their 14 major barrier islands, dune systems, marine forests, river systems, and one-third of all remaining salt marshes in the eastern United States. The Georgia coast line is home to many high-priority animal species and 91 high-priority plant species.

The lowest point in Georgia also includes the Altamaha River Delta. This delta is the most extensive estuary system on the Atlantic coast. Georgia’s barrier islands are internationally recognized as essential locations for shorebirds. Their importance is in providing nesting sites for thousands of endangered sea turtles each year. The coast of Georgia and northern Florida are the world’s only breeding grounds for the North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species.

Where Is the Altamaha River Delta Located on a Map?

The Altamaha River Delta lies south of Sapelo Island, which can only be reached by boat and with the permission of the state government which organizes tours there. It also lies north of Sea Island which is privately owned, St Simon’s Island, and Little St Simon’s Island, which are barrier islands.

Georgia Bight

Tides are at the heart of our coastal ecosystems. The dramatic high and low tides result from the Georgian coast’s unique location at the center of the bend known as the Georgia Bight. The Georgia Bight lies at the lowest point of Georgia on the westernmost coastline of the Atlantic coast. As a result, storm surge pushes into the regions of the North Carolina and Florida coastlines. Consequently, the pooling of water occurs, creating six to ten-foot tidal changes along the coastline. This coast has the third-highest tidal range on the East Coast, after Canada’s Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine.

The Georgia Coast’s Economy

Part of the allure of the lowest point in Georgia is the Georgian coast’s most prominent natural feature. This natural feature comprises approximately 400,000 hectares of wetlands between the mainland and a series of barrier islands. Salt marshes, sounds, and mudflats provide nurseries for nearly 70% of the species caught off the South Carolina and Georgia shores. This dynamic system supports commercial and recreational fishing, contributing approximately $400 million annually to the state’s economy.

Georgia’s coast also offers recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors. In 2012 alone, about 15 million people visited the beach area, bringing in more than $2 billion annually through tourism. A majority of tourists cited Georgia’s natural resources and the unique opportunity to connect with those resources as their top reason for traveling.

Georgia’s Lowest Point Includes Many Coastal Islands

Tybee Island, Lighthouse, American Flag, Photography, USA

Tybee Island on the North shore of Georgia is a popular tourist destination.

©iStock.com/dbvirago

Another intriguing feature around the lowest point in Georgia is the many islands, including the following:

Tybee Island

Tybee Island on Georgia’s North Shore is a family-friendly beach barely 20 minutes from downtown Savannah. When you are here, spend time on the beach, visit the Tybee Island Lighthouse Museum, or take a beach ecology tour. 

St. Simons Island

Visit the Fort Frederica National Monument and the World War II Home Front Museum or let a guide lead you through the marshes on a kayak tour. St. Simons Island invites visitors to stay. A combination of guests and residents means you can choose from a wide range of shopping, dining, and activities.

Sea Island

Sea of ​​Islands has been a family-friendly destination for decades. This resort caters to everyone, making them feel like it was created especially for them. Bring the entire family, grandparents, parents and children will find enjoyment here!

Jekyll Island

The Rockefellers, Pulitzers, and Vanderbilts once made Jekyll Island their winter homes. Today, Jekyll Island is a safe haven for ocean lovers around the world, offering activities ranging from environmental education to old-fashioned beach fun. Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle, the Tidelands Nature, and the Summer Waves Water Park.

Little St. Simons Island

Another delightful island near the lowest point in Georgia is Little St. Simons island. An eco-friendly lodge waits for you to enjoy your stay. 

Cumberland Island

Largely undeveloped since the Carnegie family’s retreat, this island can only be accessed by ferry from St Mary’s. Explore the ruins of Dungeness or take a Cumberland Island National Seashore Camp trip.

Little Raccoon Key

Part of Georgia’s Golden Isles, this pristine coral island off the coast of Jekyll Island offers a secluded retreat. Rent your private island, stay in a solar-powered luxury canvas tent, or book a full-day guided tour to explore the ancient oyster reef.

St. Catherine’s Island

The pristine Midway Island in Liberty County offers a great deal of driftwood to take in or just gives you an amazing space to relax. Access this private hideaway by boat in the middle of Georgia’s salt marshes.

Marine Life in Georgia’s Atlantic Ocean at The Lowest Point

The continental shelf of Georgia consists of two natural biomes: sandy bottoms and live bottoms. Sandy bottoms are basically underwater deserts which include quicksand and doesn’t allow for animal or plant life to exist. Hard bottoms are thought of as living. The Grey’s Reef National Marine Reserve is made up of limestone outcrops. The limestone outcrops are attached to ancient coastlines and serve as reefs for flora and fauna to thrive and develop. Some of the fauna include tiny organisms which become food for small fish, which then larger fish eat.

These hard or living bottoms are easy to find, adding to the tourist allure. Saltwater fishermen make long boat trips to spend time in these waters. Some of their favorite fishing spots are the Savannah Snapper Banks, Grand Banks, and Brunswick Snapper Banks. The Department of Coastal Resources and saltwater fishing organizations worked together in the creation of at least 13 artificial reefs. Eight offshore sea towers are also popular fishing spots. Along with offering a variety of fishing locations, this area is an essential habitat for many migratory birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals, including the endangered right whale. 

Sharks in the Atlantic Ocean

great white shark

The great

white shark

is one of the sharks found off the coast of Georgia.

©Ramon Carretero/Shutterstock.com

There are six shark species in the Atlantic Ocean:

Atlantic Spinner Sharks 

Atlantic spinner sharks grow up to 9.5 feet long. They have small dorsal fins and long caudal fins. Their body is broad towards the middle and narrower towards the tail, and their heads are long and thin with square noses. They rotate their entire body in and out of the water as they hunt, hence the name.

Spiny Dogfish 

These are small sharks about 5 feet long that have elongated flattened bodies. The spiny pike has flat teeth compared to other sharks, such as the tiger and mako sharks. They use these flat teeth to crush the hard crustaceans and mollusks they eat.

Atlantic Lemon Shark

The Atlantic lemon shark grows up to 11 feet long. They have a gray to brownish-gray body, a pale belly, and large pectoral fins. These sharks primarily hunt at night but also actively hunt during the day. Despite their large size, they are not considered dangerous to humans and are a favorite of divers and shark-fishing tourists.

Atlantic Sandbar Sharks

Atlantic sandbar sharks have huge dorsal fins. Along with its torpedo-shaped body and long tail fin, these combine to produce its distinctive features. Despite their terrifying appearance, these sharks pose no threat to humans.

Blacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark is among the most famous sharks in the Atlantic Ocean. They are renowned for their swift and graceful hunting. These sharks live only in shallow coastal waters in the ocean waters at Georgia’s lowest point.

The Great White

Great white sharks grow to colossal proportions; some are up to 20 feet long and weigh nearly 5,000 pounds. Great white sharks are pale gray from the middle of the torso down to the back. Their lower half is white, and they have huge fins. These fins, along with their deadly rows of teeth and torpedo shape, make them one of the most impressive fish in our oceans.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Susann Guenther/Shutterstock.com


Sources

  1. USGS, Available here: https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/Elevations-Distances/elvadist.html
  2. Explore Georgia, Available here: https://www.exploregeorgia.org/article/a-guide-to-georgias-coast
  3. Sherpa Guides, Available here: https://www.sherpaguides.com/georgia/coast/natural_history/natural_communities.html
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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with more than eight years of content creation experience. My content writing covers diverse genres, and I have a business degree. I am also the proud author of my memoir, My Sub-Lyme Life. This work details the effects of living with undiagnosed infections like rickettsia (like Lyme). By sharing this story, I wish to give others hope and courage in overcoming their life challenges. In my downtime, I value spending time with friends and family.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where is the lowest point in Georgia?

The lowest point in Georgia is the Atlantic Ocean on the state’s east coast. The Georgia Coast consists of over 100 miles of coastline, 14 barrier islands, and 300 square miles of vast Atlantic Ocean.

What is important about the Georgia coast?

The Georgia coast is approximately 100 miles in length and home to many diverse ecosystems. Coastal habitats are a high level of importance for this area because of their 14 major barrier islands, dune systems, marine forests, river systems, and one-third of all remaining salt marshes in the eastern United States. The Georgia coast line is home to many high-priority animal species and 91 high-priority plant species.

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