• info@wildcumberland.org
  • PO Box 872 Scottdale, GA 30079

Potential Development - Lumar LLC

Because some private land remains, there have been and will continue to be attempts at Cumberland Island development.

Wild Cumberland opposes any and all development on the island that would detract from its Wilderness character, damage its delicate ecosystems, or prevent its reversion to a more natural state.

In 2020, Center for a Sustainable Coast filed legal action related to private development on Cumberland Island. Learn more here.

You can read about some of the most recent Cumberland Island development efforts for yourself through the links below. Be sure to check back regularly for updates.

Updates on the Lumar Dock Development

Center for a Sustainable Coast (CSC) 

The 11th Circuit Court has issued a ruling that the case will go back to district court — for a ruling on whether the Corps violated NEPA by approving the dock.

If the district court concludes the Corps DID violate NEPA, the Corps would then go through the NEPA process to assess the need for the dock; the dock’s impacts; and alternatives to the dock; it would also require notice to the public and provide an opportunity for comment. 

The Corps would THEN decide whether to allow the dock’s continued existence. That decision would be subject to further judicial review.

Center for a Sustainable Coast (CSC) recently filed a brief for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Center for a Sustainable Coast (CSC) responded to the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) claim Lumar’s large private dock next to Sea Camp “should encounter no opposition” — and could therefore be approved without public notice. The USACE response is due by November 8, 2021.

Center for a Sustainable Coast (Jon Schwartz) filed a Motion for Summary Judgment related to dock construction on privately-owned property within Cumberland Island National Seashore (visible from the Sea Camp dock).

When Cumberland Island was designated as a National Seashore, Congress directed that the National Seashore “shall be permanently preserved in its primitive state” except for certain areas deemed especially adaptable for public recreation. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — without providing any public notice — authorized a private landowner to build a large dock on Cumberland Island.

The Corps’ regulations for reviewing permit applications require the agency’s decisions to be consistent with “land use classifications.” The National Park Service drafted a Land Protection Plan with land use classifications for each parcel on Cumberland Island. The Plan states that any structure on the dock site would be incompatible” with the law creating Cumberland Island National Seashore — but the Corps failed to review the Land Protection Plan before approving the dock. 

The Center for a Sustainable Coast sued the Corps in federal court. The Corps filed an administrative record with every document the Corps considered when reviewing the dock application. The administrative record shows that the Corps didn’t consider how the dock may affect Cumberland Island’s primitive state. The record didn’t even include the word “primitive.” 

The Center for a Sustainable Coast asked the court to supplement the administrative record with the Park Service’s Land Protection Plan. The Center argued that without this document, the record doesn’t show whether the Corps failed to review the parcel’s land use classification because no such classification exists — or because the Corps overlooked it.

The court held a hearing on the Center’s request to supplement the administrative record on March 26, 2021.

Watch Jon Schwartz from the Center for Sustainable Coasts gives an update on the Lumar dock construction.

Read the following summary from his introductory remarks that are missing from the recording below:

  • Congress created Cumberland Island National Seashore in 1972.
  • The legislation directs that the island shall be permanently preserved in its primitive state except for certain portions deemed especially adaptable for recreational uses.
  • In 1998, Lumar, LLC purchased an 87.5 acre tract which extends from the dunes to the marshlands.
  • In 2015, Lumar sought permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a dock over marshlands on the western side of the island.
  • The dock includes a 200-foot walkway, 280 square foot fixed deck, and a 500 square foot floating dock.
  • The Corps’ permitting process includes a request for adjacent property owners to state whether they object or don’t object to the proposed project.
  • Here, that included the National Park Service because Lumar’s property is next to the Sea Camp Campground.
  • The Park Service signed a letter stating the agency had no objection to the proposed dock. In reliance on this, the Corps approved the construction of the dock without any notice to the public.