Buy dry land

A wetland never forgets it’s a wetland

In Georgia, for every two acres of trees cut down, about one acre of roads, parking lots, driveways and rooftops is added. Construction changes the way our land handles rainy weather, often increasing the size of floodplains for many streams, and creating new wetlands by changing drainage patterns.

As a result, many homeowners do not realize that their property now lies in an unmapped, expanding flood plain, and never purchase flood insurance until AFTER the damage is done.

* 28 acres: Every day, construction crews lay an average of 28 acres of concrete, asphalt, roof shingles, and other “impervious” surfaces in metro Atlanta.
* 54 acres: From 1992 to 2001, 54 acres of trees were lost every day.
* 70 %: Percentage of Georgia’s flood plain maps that are outdated.
* $400.00 : The average annual cost of flood insurance, for $100,000 of coverage.

On the coast, the government has encouraged the “conversion” of many wetland forests into drained areas where pine trees could be grown for the pulp and paper industry.

Today, developers see the coming population boom on the coast and almost always seek to maximize their return on investment in land. Sometimes there is a temptation to “squeeze another lot” from a tract, by including some wetland or flood plain. And some developers don’t understand that timberland that looks perfectly dry in July may be soaking wet in January.

* 844,000 : The expected population of Coastal Georgia by 2030.
* 76 million : The number of Baby Boomers in the U.S., or about 27 percent of the population.

Wetlands are always unsuitable for development. This is true for places that have been made into wetlands by development, as well as places that have been made temporarily “dry” for forestry.

Georgians who are buying homes, or property for home sites or commercial uses, deserve to know whether or not the land they are buying is wetland or in a flood plain.