South Carolina Denies Corps Permit Savannah River Application
The battle over deepening the Savannah River port is heating up. Last Friday, South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control denied the Army Corps of Engineers' permit to deepen 32 miles of the Savannah River by 6 feet to accommodate new, super-sized cargo ships. While Georgia project boosters argue that South Carolina is merely trying to stall Savannah's project to gain momentum to widen the port of Charleston, there is no denying the truth of the adverse environmental impacts a bigger port would bring. It would destroy over half the tidal freshwater marsh at the core of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina. The endangered short-nose sturgeon and the striped bass would lose at least 25% of their habitat. The major migratory bird sanctuary would lose 400 acres of habitat and be polluted by saltier and less oxygenated waters. Increased salt content also makes Savannah's existing river drinking-water supply unusable, and it will cost at least $40 million to supply another water source.
What's really puzzling is that even if the Army Corps gets the permit, Georgia is no closer to making the Savannah Port competitive for receiving the large cargo ships they are courting. Miami is the clear answer for where the largest Panamax cargo ships would port - its closest to the Panama Canal, directly on several major shipping routes, and already has permission to dredge - helped by $77 million from the state and $120 million from Miami-Dade. There is also a $1 billion tunnel being dug under Biscayne Bay to speed up truck traffic. Even if Savannah could come up with major funding quickly there is still the issue of threading giant ships through a 38 mile narrow access channel.
The Army Corps has had no strategic plan for East Coast port development in place. As a result, all East Coast ports are wasting time and money on attempts to expand and deepen their ports, when, much like airline routes, only a few hubs are most strategic and accessible. 747s do not make local stops. And by all accounts, Savannah is not well positioned environmentally, economically, or geographically to be the next logical large ship port.
Yesterday Cobb EMC released its first ever quarterly financial report. In addition to losing $2 million during the quarter, the report also admits that Cobb EMC has already spent over $13 million on Plant Washington's development. Read the Marietta Daily Journal story here.
Sierra Club Meetings
Beyond Factory Farming, Monday, October 10th, 7:30 p.m., Leah Garces - Chair, Leah.Garces@ciwf.org.uk
Wildlands and Wildlife Committee Meeting, Wednesday, October 12th, 7:00 p.m., Mike Murdock - Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising Committee, Wednesday, October 19th, 7:00 p.m., Clay Tucker - Chair, email@example.com
RAIL Committee Meeting, Monday, October 24th, 7:00 p.m., David Emory - Chair, firstname.lastname@example.orgAtlanta Inner City Outings (ICO), Tuesday, October 25th, 7:30 p.m., Allison Williams, email@example.com
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, November 7th, 6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7:00 p.m. start, Mike Walls - Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Say NO to Keystone XL Pipeline! Tar Sands Action Outside CNN Center - October 14th
Folks are having a peaceful protest outside the CNN building in Atlanta, corner of Marietta St and Centennial Olympic Park Blvd at the southern end of Centennial Park. Make your sign, get ready to chant and sing, and come join us. Ask Obama to say no to Tar Sands and no to the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click here for more info.
National Wildlife Federation "Hike & Seek" - October 15th
National Wildlife Federation's popular Hike & Seek Adventure is coming to Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Saturday, October 15. Hike & Seek is a fundraising event that inspires children's sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. It brings children and adults together in the great outdoors for some fresh fall air and fun. The 1.8 mile hike has interactive "Stop & Study" nature stations with live animals, naturalists and engaging learning activities. The event is appropriate for children of all ages, especially toddlers to age 12.
Atlanta History Center will host the traveling exhibition Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy traces his travels to Canada, Indiana, the American southeast, California, and Alaska, and presents vivid images and specimens of the actual plants that Muir held in his hands, carried in his pockets, and preserved for all time.
Hemlock Festival - November 4th-6th
The Wildlands Committee of the Georgia Chapter supports the Lumpkin Coalition's efforts to save Georgia's hemlocks from the woolly adelgid that is killing them. The Hemlock Festival raise public awareness of the Hemlock problem and promote action, supports the efforts of all three labs in Georgia that raise predatory beetles to combat the Hemlock woolly adelgid on public lands, and assist private landowners and public agencies in managing the health of their Hemlock trees. Volunteer for a shift at the Sierra Club table by contacting Mike Murdock.
Georgia Water Coalition Celebrates its 10th Anniversary - November 5th
The Georgia Water Coalition's mission is to protect and care for Georgia's water resources, which are essential for sustaining Georgia's prosperity, providing clean and abundant drinking water, preserving diverse aquatic habitats for wildlife and recreation, and strengthening property values. Join us for good food, good music, good company and a good time in celebration of the Georgia Water Coalition’s 10th Anniversary! 11:30-3pm Georgia Wildlife Federation's Alcovy Conservation Center 11600 Hazelbrand Road Covington, GA 30014. RSVP to Jennette Gayer.
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