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.
The Port of Savannah re-opened to ship traffic shortly before noon Monday after being closed since Saturday night because of high winds. It was not immediately known how many ships were delayed because of the closure. Former Tropical Storm Beryl has become a depression with winds dying down. Still, it is soaking the region and ruined holiday plans along the Georgia and Florida coasts.
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.
Charleston's mayor says, he believes environmentalists when it comes to Savannah's harbor deepening. South Carolina officials recently have taken up an ecological argument against it. Georgians suspect the opposition really is about protecting of Charleston from competition. But, Mayor Joseph Riley says, the concerns are honest.
Fourteen majestic tall ships are temporarily transforming Savannah's historic waterfront into a harbor of yore. The old-style sailing vessels are docking in Savannah for the Tall Ships Challenge. It's the first time in 15 years the city has hosted a tall ships festival.
Researchers are preparing to float down the Savannah River to help answer one of the river's most complex questions: Just how fast does it digest everything that flows into it? The answer will mean costly changes in how cities and industries use water on the Savannah.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants a federal judge to toss a lawsuit that says a $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel needs a South Carolina pollution permit. The Georgia ports want the channel deepened to handle larger ships that will call when the Panama Canal is deepened. Conservation groups on both sides of the river have sued.
Georgia's business and political leaders eagerly awaited this week's final report on Savannah harbor deepening. But while it's the US Army Corps of Engineers' last word on the project, it's not the last word in the public debate over whether the deepening should happen. The agency next week will open a comment period.
The board working to develop a $5 billion container ship terminal jointly operated by South Carolina and Georgia is meeting in Charleston on Monday. Last year, the South Carolina State Ports Authority board voted not to spend any more money on the joint port to be located on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River just downstream from Savannah, Ga.
The governors of Georgia and South Carolina are keeping quiet on a private meeting on stalled efforts to build a $5 billion cargo port on the Savannah River shared by both states. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley met for nearly two hours Friday at a private office building in Augusta, about midway between their respective statehouses. Both left without speaking to reporters.