We were amazed and confused by Judy Gordon's April 24 letter about the Savannah River Lock and Dam. Let's go point by point:
The proposal to maintain the lock and dam includes a passage for spawning shad and other fishes. The Save our Savannah organization ... has members from the fishing community. They have assured us that to maintain the fish population and the fishing, the dam must remain.
The fish population requires additional oxygen in the river water to improve and enhance the fish. The only way to do that is to allow more air in the water coming from Lake Thurmond and raise the temperature. That can be accomplished by adding facilities at Lake Thurmond to aerate the water, not by removing the lock and dam.
The movement of boats of any size will be impeded by removal of the lock and dam. The river is much too shallow for anything other than a canoe or kayak without the pool created by the dam.
The development along the river is not only very pretty, it will improve our tax base. North Augusta's plans for shops and restaurants will bring tourists dollars as well. People will have more recreational opportunities and, again, improve our tax base.
The dams are the only protection against flooding that exist.
The river hasn't been a natural river corridor in over 70 years. One could go below the dam and perhaps protect the "natural" river at that point, but it is doubtful.
Shutting down the lock and dam will destroy natural wetlands, including the swamp. It's true these wetlands were created over 70 years ago, but surely we don't think we should now destroy them.
North Augusta's water supply would be in jeopardy unless tax dollars were used to modify the system.
Industry along the river would have to pay to modify their intakes and that cost will be borne by their stockholders and customers.
Extending the Riverwalk at a cost of several million dollars to allow us to walk up close to a small stream surrounded by mud flats with a jetty running down the middle is not only ugly, it is not likely to bring anyone to see it.
Progress is a balance of development, conservation and ecology. The balance can and should be maintained. ...
Sonny and Polly Goldston, North Augusta
(Editor's note: The authors are members of Save our Savannah.)