Evaluating Physical, Chemical, and Biological Impacts from the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project
As part of the SHEP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) prepared a Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan (MAMP) that outlines numerous projects and processes that will be carried out to assess project-induced impacts on the environment. One project, or component of the MAMP, included creating a baseline data bank. This data collection, integration, and analysis was initiated in September 2013 and drew upon prior research, readily available data, and new research in the Savannah River Basin and Estuary, located in Georgia and South Carolina, to develop and implement a web-based geographic information system (GIS), which is accessible to the public (http://www.shep.uga.edu/#&panel1-1). This information includes data on the resources of concern such as water quality, fisheries, groundwater, wetlands, etc. Monitoring data and the data integration/analysis conducted as part of the work will be used to evaluate the physical, chemical and biological impacts of the SHEP as discussed in the MAMP. Data will be used to assess the effectiveness of the mitigation features that will be constructed as part of the SHEP to ensure the levels of environmental effects predicted in the Environmental Impact Statement are not exceeded. A. Program Description/Objective: (brief description of the anticipated work) To evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation features constructed for the SHEP, data must be collected to establish a baseline databank. In addition to the data that will be generated from various pre-construction monitoring studies, existing data on resources in Savannah Harbor must be collected. A literature search would be conducted to identify previous applicable surveys and projects. In addition to locating existing data, resources such as, but not limited to, USACE published reports and surveys that would contain data useful in establishing the SHEP post-construction impacts will be reviewed. Data for resources of concern such as water quality, fisheries, groundwater, wetlands, etc. would be collected. The data will be combined with SHEP monitoring data and integrated into an existing online GIS and web portal.