US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division are working to restore a portion of the Satilla River estuary by closing man-made cuts that have degraded the ecosystem by altering the natural hydrology.
The restoration plan proposed by the USACE aims to improve fish and shellfish habitat as well as access to a large marshland system along the northern side of the Satilla River estuary by: 1) deepening shallows that restrict low-tide access to the upper reaches of creeks by both fish and boats; and 2) restoring a normal saltwater gradient that fish and shellfish use to locate the upper reaches of creeks.
The proposed modification to the estuary consists of closing Noyes Cut, Dynamite Cut, and a highly constricted old creek channel (noted by ORR on the map below) that connects Umbrella Creek south to Dover Creek.
Expected benefits of this proposed project include: •improved habitat for local and migratory species including shrimp, blue crabs, striped bass, American shad, river herrings, seatrout, and red drum. •improved small boat navigation in areas of Dover Creek and Umbrella Creek that have experienced increasing sedimentation and restricted access over the past century.
The USACE is ready to move into the Design and Implementation phase of the project. Cost sharing requires a 25% non-federal match to the 75% cost contributed by USACE under Section 1135 CAP.
Non-federal=$1,901,250 Federal= $5,703,750 Total Project Cost=$7,605,000
The state of Georgia has provided the Non-federal match through the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program. As a stakeholder, Satilla Riverkeeper is looking to ensure the federal funding is available so this impactful, shovel-ready estuarine restoration project can move forward.