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This study analyzed the ability of our three dams to contain the greatest rain event the basin could expect, with a section that addressed the feasibility of reducing the winter drawdown two feet. See full report here
The report summarizes the results of bird surveys conducted in the Savannah Harbor Dredged Material Disposal Areas. The surveys began in 1988 and were conducted on a monthly basis from 1994 to 2012. The majority of these surveys were conducted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Savannah District Biologist J. Stevan (Steve) Calver. The resulting dataset represents over 20 years of information on the relative abundance and species diversity of seasonal bird communities using habitats created by dredged material deposition through USACE maintenance dredging in the Savannah Harbor. Such long-term datasets are relatively rare in ecological studies and therefore provides important documentation on the beneficial role of dredged material as a substrate for avian habitat, plus basic population and habitat use observations on dozens of important and declining bird species, including species federally listed as threatened or endangered, or otherwise sensitive and in need of conservation.
Savannah District is evaluating potential changes to the Drought Plan for the Corps' reservoir projects on the Savannah River under the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study. This document shows the present schedule for that study. The study is being performed as a cooperative effort between the Corps, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy.
Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Development of Regional Impact Report for Paulding County Richland Creek Reservoir.
The Richland Creek Reservoir proposed project appears to be consistent within the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Regionally Important Resource Plan (January 19, 2012). The proposed project appears to be consistent with the policies, programs and projects contained in the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Regional Comprehensive Plan (January 16, 2014.)
Paulding County’s Richland Creek Reservoir Project is being planned to fulfill the long-term water supply needs of the County through the year 2060. Paulding County currently owns and operates the public water system infrastructure within the County; however, the County purchases all of its water supply from Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA) through a long-term Intergovernmental Agreement. The new reservoir will supplement the existing water supply in order to fulfill the projected 50-year need of 53.2 million gallons per day (MGD). Richland Creek Reservoir is estimated to provide 35 MGD of the total water supply need. Richland Creek Reservoir will be a pumped storage reservoir located in northern Paulding County on the upper reaches of Richland Creek. Its primary water source will be pumped from the Etowah River at a site located four miles to the north in Bartow County as illustrated on the attached map. The project includes all phases needed to deliver water from river to tap.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District completed its actions to evaluate and update a new operating agreement with Duke Energy. The new operating agreement would equalize the percent of remaining usable storage capacity at Duke Energy’s Jocassee and Keowee Lakes during droughts with the remaining usable storage at the Corps of Engineers’ Hartwell, Richard B. Russell, and J. Strom Thurmond Reservoirs.
Click here to view the Final EA and supporting documents.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District released a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Tybee Island Shore Protection Project, Georgia, 2015 Renourishment.
This authorized 3.5 mile-long project was initially constructed in 1974 with a 50-year project life and periodic renourishments to occur every 7 years. The beach was last renourished in 2008 and is scheduled to be renourished again in 2015. In 2015, there will be 9 years left in the project life (i.e. Federal participation). The Savannah District, with the non-Federal sponsor’s concurrence, selected to perform the 2015 periodic renourishment for the remaining 9 years of the 50-year project life.
The renourishment volume to be placed includes the volume needed to restore the project plus an additional 312,000 cubic yards to account for potential erosion through 2024. The beach template will be slightly modified to include placement of the additional material by extending the berm up to the north terminal groin of the template. This area has been nourished during previous renourishment cycles, but not during the 2008 renourishment. The final quantity and placement of template fill will be determined by surveys conducted immediately prior to construction.
In addition, the berm will be extended seaward up to 50 feet beyond the previously constructed template to account for erosion during the additional 2 years of advance nourishment for a 9 year cycle. The same borrow area that was used for the 2008 renourishment, Borrow Area 4, will be used for this final renourishment. Borrow material will be taken from previously undisturbed areas within Area 4. The proposed project is scheduled to occur between 1 November 2015 and 30 April 2016.
Final Environmental Assessment
Appendix A - Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation
Appendix B - Essential Fish Habitat
Appendix C - Biological Assessment of Threatened and Endangered Species
Appendix D - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion
Appendix E - Responses to Agency Letters and Public Comments
This Project Management Plan has been prepared in accordance with the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 for the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study. The Act provides the Secretary of the Army authority to address current and future needs for flood damage prevention and reduction, as well as water supply and other related water resources needs under the SRBCS authority. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conduction a Drought Contingency Plan update as a second interim study under a comprehensive water resources study of the Savannah River Basin. Click here to view Project Management Plan
The Savannah District sought, obtained, and used funds from the American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) to answer some long-standing environmental and water resource questions on the Savannah River. The District contracted with regional organizations to perform the work. The reports of those organizations can be viewed below:
Evaluation of Shortnose Sturgeon Spawning Habitat in the Savannah River. This investigation was conducted by the firm Dial Cordy and Associates. The study consisted of (1) Measuring and documenting the river depths, (2) Characterizing and quantifying the bottom substrate, (3) Measuring and characterizing flow velocities, (4) Using that information to assess the suitability of the bottom substrates as spawning habitats for Shortnose sturgeon, and (5) Characterizing the bottom substrate at the Augusta Shoals. This work is the first quantitative assessment of Shortnose sturgeon spawning habitat in the Savannah River in many years and it used published NOAA guidance that define acceptable spawning habitat. VIEW REPORT
Evaluation of Sediment Dynamics at Gravel Bars Used for Spawning in the Savannah River. This investigation was conducted by the University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. The study was identified changes in sedimentation of gravel bars over the course of a year, and short term changes that occur in response to specific flow events. The Corps sought this information to assess the likely effectiveness of using a pulsed release prior to the fish spawning season to clean the gravel bars to expand the quantity of suitable spawning habitat. The investigation also provided information on the likely duration of effect of a cleaned spawning site. VIEW REPORT
Evaluation of Preferential Fish Use of Cleaned Gravel Bars in the Savannah River. This investigation was conducted by the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. This investigation assessed the feasibility of cleaning two gravel bars located downstream of the Corps dams and the preferential use of the cleaned areas for fish spawning. This information would be used to assess the technical feasibility of cleaning gravel bars, the effectiveness of that procedure to enhance the value of a spawning site for fish, and the costs of such an operation on a larger scale. VIEW REPORT
The Proposed Action (Alternative 2) consists of retaining the major components of Alternative 1 and modifying the discharge of Levels 2 and 3. For Level 2 of this Alternative, if the current 28- day Broad River percentile inflow is greater than the 10th percentile flow, then the prescribed J. Strom Thurmond (JST) Dam release would be 4000 cfs from February through October. For Level 2, if the current 28-day Broad River percentile inflow is less than or equal to the 10th percentile flow, then the prescribed JST release would be 3800 cfs from February through October. The November to January discharge for Level 2 would be 3600 cfs (February extension of 3600 cfs could be implemented with NOAA Fisheries pre-approval). The Level 3 JST release for February through October would be 3800 cfs and the target for November through January discharge would also be reduced to 3100 cfs (February extension of 3100 cfs could be implemented with NOAA Fisheries pre-approval). If requested by either the State of Georgia or South Carolina, the Corps would restore the Thurmond discharge up to 3800 cfs daily average for the 3100 cfs release in Level 3. For Levels 1-3, the Hartwell discharge would be reduced as appropriate to maintain balanced pools.
FINDINGS: The proposed action to modify the Drought Contingency Plan for the Savannah River Basin would result in no significant environmental impacts and is the alternative that represents sound natural resource management practices and environmental standards. A copy of the EA and appendices can be found at the links below:
Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has completed its Environmental Assessment (EA) of a proposed increased development of Wildwood Park on the J. Strom Thurmond Lake, in Columbia County, Georgia. Columbia County presently operates the park and has requested the increased development. Savannah District approved the increased development and has updated the Thurmond Lake Master Plan to accommodate the increased development. The Corps will work with Columbia County and amend the County's lease to operate the Park with this additional development.
Wildwood Park Final Environmental Assessment
This report documents the regional economic impacts of changing lake levels and drought conditions on the six county region bordering Lake Hartwell. Lake Hartwell is a United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) impoundment of the Savannah River constructed between 1955 and 1963 as a part of a flood control, navigation and hydropower project on the borders of South Carolina and Georgia. In addition to the original reasons for its creation, the lake is widely used today for tourism and recreation and is a key element in regional water quality, water supply, and fish and wildlife management efforts.
As the economic role of Lake Hartwell has evolved, it has become necessary to characterize the relationship between the lake and general economic activity in the surrounding region. Two major droughts between 1998 and 2008 focused concerns on lake level management and the effect of prolonged low water levels on the region. An earlier study and anecdotal evidence from project stakeholders suggested that low lake levels were causing a large negative impact on the local economy, especially in counties adjacent to the lake.
View the full report here.
After reviewing public and agency comments received in the spring of 2011, the Savannah District has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for operations during Level 4 drought conditions on the Savannah River. Level 4 is the most severe of drought conditions under the Savannah District's Water Management Plan.
The Savannah River basin has never reached Level 4 conditions since the construction of the first major hydropower dam on the Savannah River in 1954. The Corps’ drought management plan was designed to prevent the three-reservoir system from ever reaching level 4. This EA clarifies actions to be taken in the unlikely event that drought conditions reach this unprecedented level.
The EA concluded that the daily average releases from the Thurmond Dam will be adjusted from 3,600 cfs to 3,100 cfs from Nov. 1 through the month of January, in the event that Level 4 is ever reached. The new Level 4 operations will:
- Extend the period over which the pools would be depleted;
- Extend the period over which the minimal environmental flows are available downstream; and
- Reduce recovery time for all three reservoirs
A copy of the EA and FONSI, and appendices can be found at the links below:
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
The Corps oversees the Levee Safety Program to assess the integrity and viability of the levees and to make sure that levee systems do not present unacceptable risks to the public, property and environment. The basic objectives of the program are to:
- Develop balanced and informed assessments of levees within the program
- Evaluate, prioritize and justify levee safety decisions, and
- Make recommendations to improve public safety associated with levee systems
By law the Corps oversees the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program to ensure continuation of reliable flood damage reduction and to help protect human life, communities and public property. View Augusta Levee Periodic Inspection Report
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SHEP Engineering-Design Phase: This Review Plan defines the scope and level of review activities for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, Savannah Harbor, Chatham County, Georgia and Jasper County, South Carolina. View Review Plan
This Review Plan defines the scope and level of peer review for the Macon GA Section 205 Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) study.
This Review Plan includes the general scope and level of peer review for Satilla Watershed, Georgia, Flood Risk Management, Feasibility study.
This Review Plan defines the scope and level of peer review for the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam (NSBL&D), Georgia and South Carolina, Section 216 Disposition Study, Feasibility Report. View Report Here and Memorandum for Commander
Review Plan for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Dredged Material Management Plan has been prepared in accordance with Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-209. View Review Plan
This review plan defines the scope and level of the peer review for the Feasibility Report and addresses the SAD February 2014 comments, which are also included.
This Review Plan defines the scope and level of peer review for the Noyes Cut, Georgia, Environmental Improvements, Section 1135 Feasibility Study.
Review Plan for DMCA 12A Dike Raising
Savannah Harbor DMCA 12A is a major disposal area for placing dredged material resulting from maintenance and potential expansion dredging of the Savannah Harbor. Improvements needed include raising the dike around the perimeter of the containment area and repairing weirs. View Review Plan
Review Plan for DMCA 14A Raise Back Dike
Savannah Harbor DMCA 14A is a major disposal area for placing dredged material resulting from maintenance dredging of the Savannah Harbor. Improvements needed include raising the perimeter dike along the back side (north-east edge) of the containment area. View Review Plan
Review Plan for DMCA 14A and 14B Dike Raising
This Review Plan defines the scope and level of review activities for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, Savannah Harbor, Chatham County, Georgia and Jasper County, South Carolina. The project is in the Pre-Construction, Engineering, and Design (PED) Phase. The related documents are Implementation Documents that consist of Plans and Specifications (P&S) and Design Documentation Reports (DDRs). Upon approval, this review plan will be included in the Project Management Plan as an appendix to the Quality Management Plan. The Review Management Organization (RMO) is the South Atlantic Division (SAD). View Review Plan
Review Plan for Jones/Oysterbed Island Dike Raising
Jones/Oysterbed Island is a major disposal area for placing dredged material resulting from maintenance dredging for the Savannah Harbor. Improvements needed included raising the dike along the river-side of the island, placing stone along washed out areas to prevent undermining of the dike, and repairing weirs. View Review Plan
The Review Plan for the Plans and Specifications for the Jones/Oysterbed Island Back Dike Raising Project, Jasper County, South Carolina has been reviewed by the South Atlantic Division and is hereby approved in accordance with EC 1165-2-209, Civil Works Review Policy, 31 January 2010. View Review Plan
The Review Plan for the Plans and Specifications for the Jones/Oysterbed Island Front Dike Raising Project, Jasper County, South Carolina has been reviewed by the South Atlantic Division and is hereby approved in accordance with EC 1165-2-209, Civil Works Review Policy 20 December 2012. View Review Plan
Review Plan for DMCA 1N Dike Raising
The Review Plan for the Plans and Specifications for the DMCA 1N, Jasper County, South Carolina has been reviewed by the South Atlantic Division and is hereby approved in accordance with EC 1165-2-209, Civil Works Review Policy, 20 December 2012. View Review Plan
Approval Request - Limited Reevaluation Report Tybee Island, GA, 2015 Renourishment, Review Plan: The enclosed Review Plan for the Tybee Island Limited Reevaluation Report has been prepared in accordance with Engineer Circular 1165-2-209. The Review Plan has been coordinated with the National Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Planning Center of Expertise of the North Atlantic Division, which is the lead office to execute this plan. View Review Plan
Review Plan for Limited Reevaluation Report Tybee Island, GA 2015 Renourishment: The South Atlantic Division has completed its review of the Tybee Island LRR Review Plan. The Review Plan, with minor revisions by SAD, is approved. As the study progresses, the Project Development Team shall make a risk-informed decision per paragraph 15 of EC 1165-2-209 on appropriate reviews. View Review Plan
Tybee Island Channel Impacts Navigation Study Peer Review Plan: The purpose of the Tybee Island Channel Impacts Study is to determine the least-cost environmentally acceptable alternative to mitigate impacts to the shelf and shoreline of Tybee Island, Georgia as a result of the operation of the Savannah Harbor Federal Navigation Channel. A 2008 Technical Report from the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center indicated that 70% to 80% of the reduction in sand volume on the Tybee shelf and shoreline is due to the presence of the Savannah Harbor Federal Navigation Channel. The Feasibility study will now evaluate alternatives to mitigate for these impacts. Possible alternatives may include a change in operation and maintenance activities of the Savannah Harbor Federal Navigation project and/or placement of beach quality material on the beach from an approved offshore borrow site. View Review Plan
Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study Review Plan: The purpose of the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study is to address the current and future needs of the basin for flood risk management , hydropower, water supply and water quality, fish and wildlife management, recreation, and other water resource related issues. The Review Plan (RP) for the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study identifies a series of peer review actions to ensure quality products are developed during the course of the study. The RP is intended to describe the processes that will be implemented to evaluate the technical sufficiency of the study. The RP is a component of the Project Management Plan (PMP), and is considered a living document. View Review Plan
Savannah River Basin Drought Contingency Plan Revision 2012 Review Plan: The Review Plan (RP) provides a series of peer review actions to ensure quality products are developed during the course of the product development. This RP is intended to describe the processes that will be implemented to (independently from the Project Team) evaluate the technical sufficiency of the Standard Operating Plan (SOP) and Draft Environmental Assessment. View Review Plan
The Review Plan for the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project, Freshwater Control System Private Lands, Jasper County, SC, has been prepared in accordance with Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-209. The Review Plan has been coordinated with the Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise (DDNPCX) of the South Atlantic Division (SAD), which is the lead office to execute this plan. View Review Plan
Programmatic Review Plan for Routine O&M Products: This document serves as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Review Plan for routine Operations and Maintenance products as required by EC 1165-2-214 (Civil Works Review Policy). The purpose of this National Programmatic RP is to define the requirements, procedures, and specific details of how District Quality Control (DQC) will be conducted for routine O&M products. View Review Plan
Review Plan for Routine O&M Activities: The purpose of this Review Plan is to define the requirements, procedures, and specific details of how District Quality Control (DQC) will be conducted for routine Q&M products. View Review Plan
Flood Damage Reduction Study, Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia, Rocky Creek and Augusta Canal Feasibility Report: Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia requested the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District evaluate ways of reducing flood damages in four river basins in the County. The Corps has partnered with the County to identify the areas to be considered and the investigations to be conducted to identify the extent of the flooding that may occur. The study will also examine the feasibility of potential methods of reducing the effects of those flood events.
This Review Plan identifies the measures that the Corps will take during the course of the study to ensure the technical quality of its work and that its recommendations comply with Corps policy and environmental laws and regulations. The Review Plan is a living document and may be updated as the study progresses. View Review Plan