A coalition of Intracoastal Waterway users meeting in Savannah Dec. 15 called upon Georgia’s Congressional delegation to seek federal funds to correct hazardous navigation conditions throughout the state’s 161-mile
portion of this important water highway.
By unanimous vote the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association passed a resolution asking the state’s Congressional members to request the necessary funds. The action came after AIWA members reviewed a U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers report identifying no less than 27 hazardous shoals from Port Royal Sound South Carolina to Fernandina Florida. The low tide depths at all 27 sites
is seven feet or less in a waterway required by law to be maintained at 12 feet. The channel is only two-and-a-half to three feet deep at six locations.
The steadily worsening situation came to a head recently when the U.S. Coast Guard expressed safety concerns to the Corps of Engineers which is responsible for maintaining the waterway from Norfolk Virginia to Miami. While
members of Congress in the other states (Florida North and South Carolina and Virginia) have gained at least minimal funding over the past few years to maintain their portions of the waterway Georgia’s have not.