The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District is soliciting public comments through April 16 on draft plans to manage dredged material from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) in portions of South Carolina and Georgia.
In coordination with other state and federal natural resource agencies, Corps planners have prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the AIWW Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP).
The AIWW is a 739-mile inland waterway system between Hampton Roads, Va., and St. John’s River, Fla. The Corps’ Savannah District civil works boundary encompasses about 22 percent of AIWW (between miles 552 and 713).
This 161-mile stretch of the AIWW includes 24 miles in South Carolina and 137 miles in Georgia.
This portion of the AIWW was initially constructed in the early 1940s and has been periodically maintained by the Corps’ Savannah District.
The proposed new DMMP outlines a 20-year maintenance plan that identifies dredged material disposal options and evaluates problems associated with the maintenance of the AIWW.
Based on the technical analyses and collaboration with other agencies, the Corps developed a recommended plan that allows continued use of the waterway and minimizes adverse environmental impacts.
The Corps studied five alternatives for managing the dredged material and recommends Alternative 1 as the preferred alternative. This alternative would use four methods for the placement of dredged sediments: 1) placement in four existing upland dike areas; 2) placement in the current AIWW open water sites; 3) placement in existing dredged material easements using geo-tube technology to confine the sediments; and 4) placement into the existing Savannah and Brunswick harbor Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites (ODMDS) and establishing two new ODMDS areas near the Sapelo Sound and the Altamaha Sound.
Use of ODMDS areas would require additional environmental studies.
Press Release, March 20, 2014