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Savannah River Lock and Dam -- Submit Comments

Post Date:03/06/2019 10:00 AM

Savannah River Lock and Dam -- Submit Comments

Savannah River Lock and Dam: The lock and dam is very important for the river frontage in North Augusta/Aiken County and Augusta because it maintains the river's water level between the two cities. The Savannah Harbor in Savannah is currently being deepened for the Savannah Port. Construction of a fish passage for the Shortnosed Sturgeon is a condition of a required permit because the harbor deepening will destroy some habitat of the fish and it is believed that allowing the fish to travel in the river above the Lock and Dam will mitigate this damage. There is no fish passage with the current Lock and Dam which is over 80 years old. Rather than repair the existing Lock and Dam and add a separate fish passage, the Army Corps' preferred alternative is to build a rock weir in the river near the current Lock and Dam. Because the rock weir will be fixed (and not adjustable like the existing Lock and Dam), the water level must be lowered between North Augusta and Augusta to prevent flooding concerns. Two weeks ago, the Army Corps of Engineers lowered the Savannah River pool between North Augusta and Augusta to the level where it will be permanently if the Corps' preferred alternative moves forward. When the Corps lowered the river's pool, thousands of people on both sides of the river were astounded at the Corps' proposal for the river. The Corps ended the simulation several days early because of fears that portions of the river bank on the Georgia side would collapse. To see the Army Corps' projected models for different alternatives, go here. To see a recent editorial in the Augusta paper opposing the Army Corps' preferred alternative, go here. To see this past Sunday's editorial outlining some of the legislative and Army Corps history, go here.

Corps Releases Draft Report -- Comment Period Has Started: On Saturday, February 16, the Army Corps released its draft report. (Comments opposing the draft report are critical - see below for how to comment). To learn more about the draft report, go here. To learn more about questions as to the Corps' proposed alternative, go here. To see an excellent letter asking significant questions of the Army Corps from Georgia Congressman Rick Allen, go here. To see many important documents on this issue, go here.

What Can You Do?: It is critical that anyone who opposes the Corps' current proposal let the Corps know by commenting during the thirty (30) day comment period which started on Saturday, February 16. To send your comments, do either or both of these as follows:

  • Submit by email to CESAS-PD@usace.army.mil
  • Submit in writing via U.S. mail to the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning Division, ATTN: Ms. Robin Armetta (PM-P), 100 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31401-3604.
  • Attend the Army Corps Public Meeting which is next Wednesday, March 6 from 4 to 6 pm at the August Marriott Convention Center, Two Tenth Street, Augusta. To learn more, go here.