Downtown developments: Has study been done on project's impact on river?

  • Posted: 4/7/2013 1:12 PM
    6/1/2013 5:53 PM

The Savannah RiverKeepers piqued my curiosity because it seems they are so against our new river projects - the shops, homes and stadium.

Whether they had a hand in the postponement of Project Jackson or not isn't clear to me, but I decided to dig into the group a bit and found brochures to read and people to ask about their mission.

According to the brochures, which seem to be a lot of double talk or politician talk (as I call it), they do a lot of projects, but nothing specific. The other thing that jumped out at me was that absolutely none of the board members are from North Augusta. Most of the board members are names we recognize as being the "who's who" of Augusta, and others serving on prestigious boards.

As for their interests in our riverfront projects, I can see it to a point. I suppose they are afraid we eventually will destroy the entire natural habitat along the river, causing more pollution to enter the river. I suppose they think our projects will eventually contaminate the river more so. I suppose they are worried about Brick Pond and the wetlands and the wildlife, but I have to ask, why?

It all boils down to one thing: money. If North Augusta's projects impact Augusta, then Augusta will lose all of those "tourism" dollars. We may end up getting more tourist and tourism dollars, plus more people will come here even without it being tourist or golf season. I don't think North Augusta would destroy the river and all of the natural habitats for the sake of growth, but I may be wrong.

There is a lot of river frontage, and what North Augusta is proposing only takes up a small amount.

Having a stadium would be fun, but two things would have to happen: The Green Jackets would have to add North to their names, and we'd have to have more police presence on the nights the stadium was in use.

In that vein, I have a couple of questions about the projects: Have any studies been done to assure we are not destroying a habitat of some rare species, and have steps been taken to blend all of the proposed buildings, sans stadium, into the landscape to preserve the natural beauty?