Letters to the Editor

More questions to ask about river deepening

The Jan. 25 editorial asked a lot of pertinent questions about the Savannah River dredging project.

But there are others just as important. If the Upper Floridan Aquifer is compromised, where will the region's drinking water come from? Has the economic cost of building desalinization facilities been factored in? Not that I have seen. Fresh water is one of the rarest commodities on Earth. The aquifer can't be plugged like an oil well. Once it is gone, it is gone.

Will all the container ships now plying the ocean suddenly be mothballed when the larger ones come on line? I doubt it. Is every port on every coast going to expand to accommodate these behemoths? No. The Georgia Ports Authorities says the Garden City port will be "at capacity" by 2025. Isn't that a good thing? Doesn't that mean full employment for the port workers and satellite industries?

There is no conflict with the Army Corps of Engineers' stand on the Jasper County port site. If it is detrimental to build on dredge spoil (think the marina district in the San Francisco earthquake), then that is the best place to continue to use as a spoil site.

The Earth is finite. Our freshwater is limited and already threatened. Growth has to have some limits. The status quo, with maintenance dredging, is the best choice. It preserves our drinking water source, our wetlands and our quality of life. Politics and economics have no place when this much is at stake.

Sally R. MurphySheldon