Wetland acquisition advances SHEP progress

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) continues to make progress, most recently demonstrated by the completion of another environmental mitigation requirement.

After acquiring Abercorn Island in February, the Georgia Department of Transportation recently transferred the 2,080-acre property to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This completed the second of SHEP’s environmental mitigation requirements.

The Georgia Department of Transportation had acquired and transferred a smaller tract to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2015.  The transfer of the Abercorn Island tract secures preservation of a total of 2,256 acres of freshwater wetlands – the most dynamic and beneficial kind of wetland in the coastal region.

The two tracts slightly exceed SHEP’s requirement to acquire and preserve 2,245 acres of wetlands.

The other mitigation requirement that SHEP completed is the payment of $2.9 million in March 2015 for additional striped bass stocking. The funding allows the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to raise and then stock additional striped bass in the estuary.

Work is also underway on a number of other mitigation features, such as:

  • Recovery of the remains of the CSS Georgia at 90 percent complete (now scheduled to wrap up Aug. 1)
  • Dissolved Oxygen Injection System at 39 percent complete
  • Raw Water Storage Impoundment at 86 percent complete
  • Removal of the Tidegate in the Sediment Basin at 71 percent complete

The expansion project is also making progress with its navigation features. The Savannah District completed a dike raising contract in the first week of July, which enables the containment area dikes to hold the new work inner harbor dredged material.

Work in the outer channel approaches 60 percent completion heading toward its scheduled completion in July 2018.

For more updates, visit the SHEP webpage.

~ Russell Wicke, Corporate Communications Office

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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  • Ferris

    SHEP construction seems interminably slow, but progress continues in spite of funding competition. The link helps visualize completion next year of entrance channel dredging and other activities. Thanks for the update!

  • David Ackerman

    Forgive me if this has been asked and/or answered already but is the SHEP going to require an increase in the CFS releases from Thurmond in any way?

    • Thanks for the question David. The answer is no. There will be no discharge increase requirement to mitigate for SHEP. One of the requirements for the environmental mitigation on SHEP was that it would not require adjustment to the drought contingency plan in the SRB Water Manuel. The project’s mitigation features were designed around that requirement. Hope this helps. ~Russell Wicke