I must first thank Steve Gracie and Chuck Perry of Longstreet Press for having the vision and business guts to commit to the Longstreet Highroad Guide series. In today’s ultracompetitive world of publishing, it takes leadership and courage to produce a book series as ambitious as this one. Thank you, gentlemen. Second, I must thank Marge McDonald, project director of the series. She found and hired me. Her energy, creativity, and spirit are second to no one’s.
Sir Isaac Newton wrote to a colleague, “If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” As author of this book, I owe an incalculable debt to the scientists, conservationists, and government researchers who spent many years examining and writing on the complex natural relationships of the Georgia coast. Much of the work of these giants is incorporated here. Thank you Dr. Charles Wharton, Dr. Eugene Odum, Dr. John Bozeman, and Mildred and John Teal.
A special thanks to Buddy Sullivan, the manager of Sapelo Island and the extraordinary historian of the Georgia coast. And a sincere thanks to Mike Harris, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, for sharing his tremendous expertise.
I received a lot of help all along the coast as I labored to produce a comprehensive and accurate book. Many gave generously of their time and resources. I must thank the following for pointing me in the right direction and untangling my fictions from my facts: Penn Myrick, Dennie McNeely, Sally Keller, Michael Bart, Cullen Chambers, Walter Parker, Marsha Kevill, James Mack Adams, Susan Brockway, Melanie Hoffman, Cliff Kevill, Amy Blackburn, Lance Hatten, Sue Cole, Connie Bazemore, Edith Schmidt, Greg Starbuck, Bobby Moulis, Gerald Williamson, Raymond Thomas, Carl Hall, Jack Hoyt, Bob Monroe, Eleanor Torrey West, Elizabeth DuBose, Joann Clark, Arthur Edgar; Laura, Don, and Meredith Devendorf; Sandy Bray, Deborah Stone, Jane Bozza, Debbie and Kevin McIntyre, Patrick R. Saylor, Dennis Davis, Hans Neuhauser, Brad Winn, Duane Harris, Barbara Zoodsma, Lea King, Steve Moore, Buzzy Pickren, Chris Trowell, and Terry Johnson.
Thank you to Clyde “Doc” Partin who kept an eye on Berlin while I was away, and Betty Partin, for keeping an eye on Doc. A special thanks to Pat Metz of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges and to Taylor Schoettle, an excellent naturalist and educator of all things coastal.
The Georgia Conservancy was very generous in opening its files to me and I owe the organization a big thank you, especially John Sibley and Michael Halicki. Everyone owes The Georgia Conservancy a debt of gratitude for its excellent conservation work on the coast. Anyone who reads this book will discover the exceptional land preservation work The Nature Conservancy of Georgia has performed as well. The Georgia Wildlife Federation also supported the production of this volume and continues to be a positive force across the state. Anyone who cares about the coast should join all three of these organizations.
“If you see a turtle on a fencepost, you know someone put him there.” I think I first heard this from former Gov. Zell Miller. This turtle must thank renowned educator Conrad Fink and legendary newspaperman Dink NeSmith. No one has had finer role models. Mr. NeSmith gave me my first real introduction to the Georgia coast and supported my first book project. Additional credit should go to Jerry McCollum and Jim Wilson of the Georgia Wildlife Federation for a decade of support and encouragement of my professional efforts in the area of conservation, which I hope have had the effect of supporting all their efforts in the same field.
Pam Holliday did a first-rate job of editing my sloppy prose. She’s incredibly gifted and one of the best in the field. I owe John Lenz a debt of gratitude for his business skill in keeping the ship afloat and pointed in the right direction while I was on a mini-sabbatical researching and writing this book, and for doing such a great job on the layout. Barbara Keenlyside’s skill with words made a significant contribution to the ultimate quality of the book. Illustrator Danny Woodard is a brilliant designer whose tremendous talent knows no limits.
Finally, this book never would have or could have been produced by me without Sheila Jones Lenz. What is it they said about Ginger Rogers? She did everything Fred did, but did it backward and in high heels. Not only did Sheila help with every part of this book (including the indexing), she did it while taking care of Claire Jacquelyne. Sheila is by far the best decision I ever made, and this book is dedicated to her—and to my parents, Roger and Jacquelyne Lenz.
—Richard J. Lenz