US Army Corps of Engineers officials are studying the environmental impacts of dredging Georgia's 161-mile part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The ICW is a natual and manmade highway for boats strerching from Maine to Florida. Like Interstate 95, it brings business to the coast. That's why supporters would like more than study.
A researcher has ruled out lack of maintenance as a reason banks along the state's Intracoastal Waterway are eroding. A Georgia scientist looked at erosion on the snake-shaped boating route that serves recreational boaters. Geologist Clark Alexander says, he found, boaters are causing the erosion.
Georgia marina owners want state officials to ease rules on coastal boaters who stay awhile. Right now, if someone wants to live on a boat on Georgia's coast, they're effectively barred from staying for more than a month. A proposed rule change would help local business and make it easier for the state to control waste water discharges.
Georgia is one of four states participating in a coastal alliance aimed at getting the South Atlantic region in synch on environmental issues. The South Atlantic Alliance recently released a draft plan to coordinate state policies on port expansion, disaster response and other issues.
Chatham County could change local zoning to make it easier for some and harder for others to build near Georgia's protected marshes. A local planning council has approved a plan to set the marsh buffer at 35 ft. That's 10 ft. stricter for land deemed "undeveloped" and 25 ft. less strict for land deemed "developed."