Interview with David Kyler, September 24, 2013

Collection: Georgia Environmental Oral History Project

Dublin Core


David Kyler is the executive director of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, a non-profit membership organization he co-founded in 1997. The Center works to protect, preserve, and sustain the vital natural, cultural, and economic resources of coastal Georgia. Kyler's mission is to use environmental research, information, and education to improve decisions affecting the sustainability of natural systems. Through his work with the Center, Kyler works to redefine economic self-interest by incorporating the principles of sustainability in public policies governing both economic development and environmental protection.
In this interview, David Kyler discusses his work as a regional development planner for the Area Planning and Development Commission and the use of the market-based approach to water management. He talks about the pressures put on planning commissions by business interests.
Kyler discusses the connection between natural systems of the coast and economic value. He discusses the Coastal Management Program of the 1970s and his work with the Georgia Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy. Kyler also talks about off-shore drilling, the Sea Island Company (including the conflict over bike paths), and the difficulty of maintaining cordial relationships with business interests as an environmental activist.Kyler discusses the founding of the Center for a Sustainable Coast in 1997, including the support of the Sapelo Foundation and the goals of the organization. He discusses efforts at outreach and education for the public through public forums. He also discusses various lawsuits filed by the Center for a Sustainable Coast, including a lawsuit about the development of marsh hammocks. Kyler talks about the support and the resources of the Southern Environmental Law Center.Kyler discusses the evolution of non-profits on the Georgia Coast and the support of the Dobbs Foundation. He talks about the role of the Center for a Sustainable Coast in establishing Riverkeeper organizations for watersheds affecting the coast. He discusses producing the Citizens Guide to Coastal Development with the goal of making the public more aware of the laws concerning environmental issues and development. Kyler also touches on issues such as the 65/35 clause governing the development of Jekyll Island, global warming, and harbor deepening and dredging.





Oral History Item Type Metadata


86 minutes


David Kyler and Betsy Bean, “Interview with David Kyler, September 24, 2013,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed June 23, 2024,