Tybee Island Ship-Induced Wave Investigation

PROJECT NAME AND STATE:  Tybee Island Ship-Induced Wave Investigation

AUTHORIZATION:  Section 22, WRDA 1974 - Planning Assistance to States Study



Estimated Federal Cost


Estimated Non-Federal Cost


Total Estimated Cost $350,000

Allocation for FY 2021


President's Budget for FY 2022 $0
Programmed Balance to Complete After FY 2022 $0


LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION: Tybee lsland is one of a series of barrier islands located along the Georgia coastline about 18 miles east of the city of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. The highly developed island is bounded on the north by the Savannah River, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south and west by Tybee Creek and a vast tidal marsh system. The Federally maintained navigation channel, Savannah Harbor, sits less than one nautical mile north of the island and provides a transportation route for commercial vessels across the ocean bar and up the Savannah River to the Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal. This terminal is the 4th busiest container handling facility in the nation, and as such, the navigation channel is frequently utilized by very large deep draft, post-panamax container ships.   

SUPPORT ACTIVITIES FOR FY 2022  Draft and Final Reports 


ISSUES AND OTHER INFORMATION:  On the northern shoreline of Tybee lsland, North Beach, large commercial vessels transiting the Savannah entrance channel intermittently generate large wake events impacting beachgoers. Sudden surges with accompanying currents can topple swimmers, waders, and those on the shoreline. Tybee Island implemented an education and outreach program to warn people of those surges. The City of Tybee Island placed warning signs along the beach and send first responders to the area to verbally warn people of the impending powerful wave action caused by the passing container ships.  


Draft Report - 1 Apr 2022
Final Report - 15 July 2022

ADMINISTRATION POSITION:  This project is consistent with current Administration policy.

ACTION OFFICER:  Michael C. Chirpich                               31 March 2022