SAVANNAH DISTRICT

 

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Noyes Cut, GA

PROJECT NAME AND STATE:  Noyes Cut, GA

AUTHORIZATION
:  Section 1135, WRDA 1986 (P.L. 99-662), as amended.


SUMMARIZED FINANCIAL DATA

Feasibility

Estimated Federal Cost

$625,000

Estimated Non-Federal Cost

$525,000

Total Estimated Cost

$1,150,000



Allocation thru FY 2016

$390,000

Allocation for FY 2017

$27,281

Programmed Balance to Complete After FY 2017

$207,719

President’s Budget for FY 2018

$0


LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION:  Ecosystem Restoration.  Noyes Cut is located in Camden County, Georgia and the nearest major city is Brunswick, GA.  The US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District (Savannah District) constructed Noyes Cut as a side channel to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in 1932.  The cut has altered the ebb tide on Dover Creek, causing the siltation of the creek and thus blocking access to the creek's freshwater reaches for migratory fish, crabs and shrimp.  Portions of the creek that were once 100 yards wide have now narrowed to ten (10) yards, and the inland reaches of Dover Creek and adjacent Umbrella Creek go dry at low tide.  The siltation has also blocked creek access to commercial fisherman who earn their livelihood harvesting seafood from these waters.  The impacts of Noyes Cut are compounded by land use changes in the larger Satilla River watershed that have resulted in chronic low flows and with naturally low oxygen levels in the river.  These conditions have driven migratory fish from the river's main stream, making restoration of the river's tidal creeks all the more important for a healthy fishery in the river's estuary which expands across 10,000 acres of Georgia's coast.  


ACTIVITIES SCHEDULED FOR FY2017:   Initiated Draft Feasibility Report and conducted MSC Decision Meeting (MDM). 

 

SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES FOR FY2018:  Feasibility Report approval and execute a Project Partnership Agreement to begin the design and implementation phase.


ISSUES AND OTHER INFORMATION:  The Savannah District is conducting modeling in support of an alternatives analysis to determine the best solution to be restore impacted ecosystems in the estuary.  The area was previously studied by the Savannah District in 1983, utilizing a one-dimensional model to address the shoaling at one location near Dover Bluff. However, the model did not address the overall impacts to the estuary system.  It was previously determined that Noyes and Bull Whirl Cuts were the cause of the shoaling as a tidal node exists due to the reverse flow of the Dover and Umbrella Creeks during ebb flows.

The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 authorized a demonstration project to close Noyes and Bull Whirl Cuts.  The previous cost for project planning and preparation of plans and specifications was estimated at $515,000.  The construction cost was estimated at $3.4M (in 2004 dollars) to close the cuts using earthen fill/riprap alternative and $15.5M for the sheet pile alternative.

This area in the vicinity of Dover Bluff has been previously studied but the results were inconclusive regarding the overall estuary and its restoration requirements.  The fact that the scope of the previous study was limited to one area coupled with the limitations of the one­ dimensional modeling, resulted in the cancellation of the study and the return of $450,000 in remaining funding.  Given the renewed interest in restoring the ecosystem of this area on the Georgia coast, as evident in the Georgia General Assembly's adoption of Resolution No. 267 on March 21, 2013, this is an ideal opportunity for the Savannah District to apply its technical expertise in restoring the affected environment(s).  This study will take a more comprehensive look into the Satilla River estuary and all environment impacts of previous work in the area.


MILESTONES:

Post Review Plan

May 2014 (A)

Federal Interest Determination

June 2014 (A)

Execute FCSA

September 2015 (A)

MSC Decision Meeting

August 2017 (A)

Approve Feasibility Report

April 2018

Execute PPA

August 2018

Award Construction Contract

June 2020

Physical Completion

September 2020


ADMINISTRATION POSITION:  This project is consistent with Administration policy.


ACTION OFFICER:  Margarett (Mackie) McIntosh                                  1 October 2017

                                      CESAS/912-652-5320