|Container ships at the Port of Savannah. Photo by Jane Griess/USFWS|
The Port of Savannah, 18 miles inland on the Savannah River (between South Carolina and Georgia) is the second busiest container port on the East Coast. The ongoing Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will improve ship navigation and allow larger ships with heavier cargos access to the port without waiting for the tides. However, this project could dramatically affect the wetlands and water quality of the Savannah River and Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, threatening the diversity of migratory birds and other wildlife that depend on this vital habitat. Biologists with our Georgia Ecological Services Office and Savannah National Wildlife Refuge are working with the other federal agencies, the state agencies of South Carolina and Georgia, and other groups to mitigate the environmental impacts of this harbor deepening. In a general sense, “mitigate” means to take measures to offset an action's adverse impacts on a natural resource.