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Just Some of Why Savannah River Deepening is a Really Bad Idea

Harbor: a part of a body of water protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage; especially one with port facilitiesMirriam Webster Dictionary

President Obama’s proposed budget has $600,000 – far short of the $105 million requested and the $500 million needed to actually complete the project – to continue studying the deepening of the Savannah River from 42 to 48 feet.  The Savannah River is not technically a “harbor,” rather, it is a river with a port.  The idea is that once the Panama Canal is expanded, the size of container ships will increase and the Savannah Port needs to be able to accommodate them.

Many Georgia leaders and elected officials have fallen over themselves to demonstrate their support for this project, which they say will bring jobs and economic development.  However, the Army Corps found that NO jobs will result from this proposal, according to Corps economist Bernard Moseby at a December 14th stakeholder meeting.  Georgia taxpayers have already committed $102 million and Governor Deal has proposed another $32 million in his 2012 budget.  
Long Beach Port
The Georgia Chapter submitted comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which detail our concerns including, decimation of freshwater marshland and decreased levels of dissolved oxygen, which threaten habitat of endangered species including the Shortnose Sturgeon, as well as leave the popular recreational fishery for Striped Bass on  life support with a stocking program.  The air quality impacts have not been adequately studied, but Savannah violated federal air quality standards twice in 2010, and this project will only make things worse.  Are we striving to be like Long Beach/LA Port (see right)?

What will happen if the Savannah River is not deepened?  Will all the current container ships that Savannah can currently unload be retired, immediately?  Probably not.  Is Savannah the best place on the East Coast to accommodate the giant Panamex ships?  The Army Corps wouldn’t know – it only studied the impact of deepening the Savannah River.  Charleston is scrambling to move their port expansion plans forward, but entity has undertaken an effort to identify the best place to dock Panamex ships on the East Coast.  It would likely be somewhere that is an actual “harbor,” and by definition is deep enough to furnish anchorage.

Georgians should heed caution before letting our state leaders invest another cent in this project. 

Quick Links

Two pro-coal articles published recently need your responses. Read the tips below, click on the link and enter in your replies. Share the articles with your friends and networks, and encourage them to do the same.

1) Patti Gettinger, Vice Chair of the Georgia Tea Party in the Marietta Daily Journal: Proposed EMC coal plant neither risky nor dirty

2) Dean Alford: Spokesperson for Power4Georgians in the Marietta Daily Journal: Generating power: Part-ownership of coal plant will benefit Cobb EMC

Tips: No name calling. No personal attacks. No profanity. Your comment won't get published. Stay on message and present the facts! No coal plants built nationwide in over two years. Availability of smarter energy resources. Decline in energy demand negates the need for these plants in the first place. There are better ways to meet our energy needs. Conservation is a conservative ideal. Etcetera.



Sierra Club Meetings

RAIL Committee Meeting, Monday, February 28th, 6:45 p.m., Jim Dexter - Chair, call 678-313-2407, 

Atlanta Inner City Outings (ICO), Tuesday, February 22nd, January 25th, 7:30p.m., contact Allison Williams

Smart Energy Team Meeting,  Monday, March 4th, 6:30p.m. refreshments, 7p.m. start, Colleen Kiernan - or Erin Glynn -

Wildlands & Wildlife Committee Meeting, Tuesday, March 15th, 7:00p.m., Phil Zinsmeister - Chair,

Fundraising Committee, Wednesday, March 16th, 7:00p.m., Erin Wetty - Chair,


Thanks to everyone who came to EPA on Tuesday! 
Over 100 people came out to support the first rules ever to limite carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and refineries.  See some photos or watch the video.  The comment period is open until March 18th, you can support EPA by clicking here.

Also, come out and meet EPA Region IV Administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming at Green Drinks at the Corner Pub on Edgewood on March 9th from 6-9pm.  EPA is going to need a lot of our love this year!!

The March Window is coming and we need volunteers! -- February 23rd
Volunteer for March Fundraising!The Georgia Chapter sends out its annual appeal to all of our members in March -- almost 10,000!  Come to a mail party and stuff and address some envelopes with us.  Wednesday, February 23rd 2pm-9pm and Thursday February 24th 2pm-5pm. 

Please email Naseem at if you can come by for a bit!  Snacks provided!

Georgia River Network's Weekend for Rivers - February 25th-26th
Join us for two days of informative workshops and conference sessions, as well as field trips, networking opportunities, awards and a great party!  At the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell.  Click here for more information.


Sierra Club 101 is back!  Mark your calendar!
Sierra Club 101Attention, Members! You joined the Sierra Club to help protect the environment -- now what? Sierra Club 101! Come learn about the Sierra Club and how to get involved in our local efforts. Open to members and non-members alike--bring a friend! Refreshments provided.  March 12, 10:30-12. Register online by clicking here.

Donate to the GA Chapter


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