Savannah River deepening: Savannah Morning News coverage today is thorough

Click here to go to the news page that has multiple — and thorough — articles about yesterday’s authorization that the Savannah River channel be dredged to 47 feet, which is 5 feet deeper than it is now but a foot less than the original request.

As I’ve noted in previous posts, there’s still ample controversy about a depth of either 47 or 48 feet, since some rival East Coast ports are now or eventually will be deeper, in addition to being closer to the open ocean.

The pieces today by Mary Carr Mayle and Mary Landers cover history, the environment, cost issues, water quality concerns, fish habitat impacts, and a host of other issues. There’s also an excellent and long list of reactions by various stakeholders to the Corps of Engineers’ final report.

These two reactions were juxtaposed, which neatly capture some of the economic promise some see and the logistical challenges that others see (and which nearly $300 million will be spent to mitigate:

“The Savannah Port is critical infrastructure as we work to attract new business investment and jobs to the South Carolina lowcountry. Being prepared to accommodate post Panamax ships in Savannah is a job-creation game changer for this region.” – Kim Statler, Executive Director, South Carolina LowCountry Economic Alliance

“There’s no other port (for mega ships) like Savannah where they’ve developed a long circuitous river route to get up to the port, not in the last 200 years. In fact, three of the biggest ports in world — Shanghai, Rotterdam and Haiphong — had river ports and when they realized they had to cater to big ships they built new ports on the ocean.” – Steve Willis, president of the board for the Center for A Sustainable Coast and chair of the Sierra Club Coastal Group.

I obviously have a few other recent posts dealing with this issue as well.