USACE Proposes Additional Dredging in Middle River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to evaluate the potential impacts of modifying the previously-approved Flow Re-routing Plan as part of the environmental mitigation for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

The modifications consist of additional dredging in Middle River to provide the flows designed in the 2012 Final Environmental Impact Statement, and to beneficially use the dredged sediments to create approximately nine acres of intertidal wetlands.

According to the Cops, the proposed action includes dredging an additional 2,600 feet within Middle River to -7 feet mean lower low water (MLLW). An additional four feet of dredging depth is also proposed at the mouth of Union Creek within the previous- approved footprint to account for potential future shoaling.

Majority of the dredged material will be used beneficially to create wetlands in both McCoombs (western arm of McCoys Cut) and Rifle Cuts to enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

The remaining balance of dredged sediment, approximately 100,000 cubic yards, will be placed either in existing upland dredge-material containment areas (DMCA) or in a portion of the Sediment Basin, which is another flow re-routing feature of SHEP.

USACE also reported that there will be no change in the method or timing of dredging, the design of the diversion structure or the rock plugs. Construction is to take place from barges to minimize impacts to adjacent lands.

Written statements regarding the Draft EA and FONSI for the proposed action will be received until June 26, 2017.