Georgia's Cockspur Island Lighthouse has stood witness to Civil War cannon fire, raging waves from Atlantic hurricanes and 175 years of commerce in the busy Savannah River shipping channel. Lately, however, it's faced a challenge to its very existence. In 2008, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation put the lighthouse on its annual list of 10 "Places in Peril."
he South Carolina agency charged with reviewing activities in the Savannah River wants to enter a federal lawsuit challenging the $650 million deepening of the shipping channel. The Savannah River Maritime Commission filed court documents Tuesday asking to enter the case brought by conservation groups in South Carolina and Georgia.
Conservation groups in two states say the Army Corps of Engineers needs a South Carolina pollution permit now, not later, for the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel. Attorneys late Tuesday filed a response to a corps request that a federal judge dismiss their lawsuit against the project.
Tuesday is the deadline for public comments in a plan to deepen Savannah's harbor from 42 to 47 feet. Supporters and opponents of the project have been picking over the massive proposal and have different conclusions for federal officials who'll make a final yes-or-no decision later this year. The US Army Corps of Engineers spent 14 years studying plans to deepen the Savannah harbor.
When a public comment period closes June 5th on final plans to deepen Savannah's harbor, expect encouraging words from city officials. The city's water department previously raised concerns over the proposal's potential impact on the city's drinking water supply. But the US Army Corps of Engineers' final plan calls for building a 75 million gallon reservoir.
Endangered fish could swim farther up the Savannah River once the Savannah harbor deepening project gets started. US Army Corps of Engineers officials are proposing a $32 million "fishway" around an Augusta dam as part of the massive port expansion proposal. But aren't convinced the endangered shortnosed sturgeon would benefit from it.
About 350,000 Georgia workers owe their jobs in some way to the Georgia ports. A report released by the University of Georgia says, 1-in-12 Georgia jobs is port-dependent. Critics say, the figures are inflated, counting every Wal-Mart greeter and store clerk as port-dependent since they work at a company that uses the ports.
US Army Corps of Engineers officials are extending the public comment period for the proposed Savannah Harbor deepening project. The agency is giving people 15 more days to register their opinions on the 600 million dollar proposal. Officials released the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement and General Report on April 11.