Dam's closure would be disastrous

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The tenor of Gerrit Jöbsis' column of March 20 ("Dam's removal would benefit river immensely") would lead one to believe that the author, in actuality, knew very little about this stretch of the Savannah River.

We who have been living on this river for more than 25 years appreciate its beauty every day, and are deeply concerned for its health and its future. We sometimes imagine how it looked when Native Americans crossed over the rocks of the fall line, but with the full knowledge that we no longer live in that time. Changes occur.

In 2000, the same argument as the one posed by the guest column led to the simulation of the disabling of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam by conducting a test drawdown.

As a result, instead of a river, we saw a long mud flat stretching from the fall line and down past the Riverwalk. Yes, a mud flat and ugly debris.

Did Gerrit Jöbsis see this? If so, did he believe such a sight would enhance our environment? Does he believe such a sight will reap economic benefits as he predicts will occur with dam removal? I sense in his argument a one-size-fits-all blueprint from his national organization rather than a researched consideration of Augusta's situation.

Nature conservation is an important and worthy goal, but one that must take into account the human situation as well. Everyone in Augusta and North Augusta should "Save Our Savannah" again, as we did in 2000.

Gloria Greenbaum

Augusta

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usapatriot
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usapatriot 03/22/11 - 11:42 pm
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You can't be related to

You can't be related to Lowell. Anyhow, yes. what you said.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/23/11 - 06:48 am
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Good letter. I understand the

Good letter. I understand the mood some conservationists have to do away with dams all over the country, but it's not a good move when you have dams that have created known shorelines for decades.

In Augusta we have a series of dams and you can't return to a natural setting without doing away with all of them, including Thurmond Dam and Savannah Rapid's Dam. Does anyone in their right mind want that?

burninater
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burninater 03/23/11 - 11:26 am
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The 2000 report

The 2000 report (http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/nsbld/DispositionStudy.pdf) indicates that the sole benefit of the dam currently is the maintenance of the pool beneath the fall line. According to the report, $6,000,000 dollars in repair costs were incurred from 1985 to 2000, in addition to ongoing annual costs. The report projected that an additional $9,300,000 of repairs were needed, in addition to an annual operational cost of $662,000/year.

Was the test drawdown accompanied by an increased release from Strom Thurmond? Is a compromise possible in which increased releases from Thurmond mitigated the effects of the removal of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam? I imagine the real political issue here is maintenance of exactly the current shoreline that exists for current shorefront property on the N. Augusta side, and the Riverwalk Marina ...

Should taxpayers be footing the bill to maintain these locations for the few?

dichotomy
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dichotomy 03/23/11 - 11:46 am
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There would not be an

There would not be an increase in the release from Thurmond dam just because the Lock and Dam were removed. The mudhole we saw a few years ago would be exactly what we would see during years of low rainfall. Even if the Corps were forced to increase the release from Thurmond it would only serve to draw the lake down to unusable levels and then we would have two ruined resources. The lake above Thurmond is protected from being drawn down below pool so there is no more water to send down the Savannah during dry years. If they take out the Lock and Dam the Riverfront, the canal, and the water users are ruined.....IMHO. I believe the draining experiment a few years ago was intended to show EXACTLY what we would be looking at if they took out the Lock and Dam........it did and it was ugly and a disaster.

follower
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follower 03/23/11 - 12:00 pm
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As a conservative normally

As a conservative normally opposed to anything written by a Greenbaum, this is indeed a red-letter day. I agree whole-heartedly.

Perhaps that this will affect her personally is the impetus behind her protest? Either way, a muddy shoreline would be detrimental to the area.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/23/11 - 12:37 pm
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Folks, I've explaind ad

Folks, I've explaind ad nausea why the Lock and Dam shouldn't be removed. The CSRA community is not going to let it happen in any case. This is all conjecture. What may happen is the Corps will give us the Lock and Dam. When they call us up asking about a fish ladder, we will say the check's in the mail or we dispute the whole agreement.

dwb619
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dwb619 03/23/11 - 08:00 pm
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What exactly did North

What exactly did North Augusta offer in its bid for the Lock and Dam Park? Operational cost? Maintenance? Been to long ago for me to remember.

JakeQ
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JakeQ 03/23/11 - 08:12 pm
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dwb, North Augusta would take

dwb, North Augusta would take the Lock and Dam, meaning they'd assume all the operation and maintenance costs for it. Most likely Augusta would wind up keeping the actual park since that's entirely on the Georgia side.

JakeQ
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JakeQ 03/23/11 - 08:16 pm
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Also, it's my opinion that

Also, it's my opinion that *if* the National Marine Fisheries Service were successful in their efforts to remove the lock and dam, they would then focus on diverting flows out of the canal, or closing the canal entirely to restore the flows in the area.
I just thought of another question, if the lock and dam is taken out, but no changes are made to canal flows, would there even be enough water through the downtown portion of the river for the sturgeon to get through?

Bert Ellis
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Bert Ellis 03/27/11 - 09:41 pm
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Do you all know what average

Do you all know what average daily flows are from Thurmond? Then at the lock and dam? What about at the Stevens Creek flash board dam? Do you know where intakes are located for our water at low flows? Industrial water intakes/outflows? Do you know what the Thurmond flows were when the COE free-flowed water thru the locks & gates at the lock and dam verse ave flows that same day for 5 years previously? And, at the same time, do you know the outflows from other streams? I think those are a few questions you need to answer before making an educated statement.

Riverman, do tell how the levee was the reason for the water issue in the UH parking lot? That really blew my mind when you wrote that on the other post. Poor engineering, maintenance issues, and a lot of rain caused that, not the levee.

$22 million could go a long ways to restructuring uses along the rivers edge, and create more, longer lasting, economical benefits to the CSRA than wasting it on the Lock and Dam.

One last quetion, how many of you ever witnessed a working dredge come from Savannah to Augusta so barges could enter Augusta?

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