Wetland acquisition advances SHEP progress

Published July 14, 2017

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