I had a great time on Wednesday of this week – a day trip to Ossabaw Island. Ossabaw is one of Georgia’s secluded, undeveloped barrier islands. The only practical way to reach it is by boat.
We took off from our campus at 8:30 in the morning with a group of eleven scientists and technicians for the one hour trip down the Intra-Coastal Waterway to the island.
Ossabaw Island is held by the State of Georgia as a Heritage Trust. Access is by permission only.
We had several reasons for this trip. One reason was to conduct some maintenance on the “Barrier Island Observatory.” We are part of a group of organizations that are developing an observatory network on the island. This is a series of sensors and cameras that can by accessed through the Internet. Right now there is a weather station, a water sensor at the dock and at two wells, and a camera at the dock. You can see what they pickup here.
We also had a couple of geologists who needed to dig some core samples, and a graduate student who collected Spanish moss and air samples.
I went along to take pictures and to enjoy the day.
Once on the island, we got around on the back of pick up trucks.
The island is beautiful and peaceful, with scenes ranging from maritime forest, to salt marshes to open beaches.
When we first arrived, we were greeted by “Paul Mitchell,” one of the island’s pet hogs.However, unlike on my last visit to the island, we didn’t see very much in the way of wildlife. We saw only one alligator. I think part of the reason for this is that the fresh water ponds on the island are very low, so the gators aren’t close to the various roads and causeways.
All in all, it was a great day and a lot of fun.