Recognizing that Jekyll Island's natural beauty and vibrant history set it apart from any other coastal retreat, the Governor and the Georgia State Legislature established the island as a state park and entrusted its care to the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA). The Jekyll Island Authority is a self-supporting state agency responsible for the overall management and stewardship of Jekyll Island.
The JIA Board od Directors consists of members appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. The Chairman of the Board is also appointed by the Governor to serve a one-year term and retains the chair until replaced. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the day-to-day operation and promotion of the island and for providing public services to island residents and businesses.
The JIA provides many services on the island, however police protection is provided by The Georgia State Patrol with a station at the Welcome Center, Electric, Telephone, and Cable television services are provided privately.