Some campers finding "closed" signs at federally-operated campgrounds are getting their nature kicks at state parks. Some parks are seeing a slight increase in visitation because of the government shutdown.
Georgia Congressman Doug Collins has started a caucus in the US House to reform the US Army Corps of Engineers. Collins says the bureaucracy in many federal construction projects has made the Corps fiscally irresponsible and inefficient.
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson was in Savannah Wednesday to update port officials on the progress of federal funding for the Savannah harbor expansion project. Earlier in the week, he attended the Atlanta Braves opening day with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. On the prospect of port funding, he was loaded with baseball metaphors.
When state lawmakers convene next month, Tybee Island officials will have Hurricane Sandy arguments ready when they ask for money for beach renourishment. Cities in New York and New Jersey found communities fared better in this year's big storm if they had healthy dunes.
The US Army Corps of Engineers wants to push forward with the Savannah harbor deepening project without South Carolina approval. If the Obama administration grants the exemption it would render moot a South Carolina Supreme Court decision last week.
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.