Chatham Area Transit, Modification of an Existing Facility, Plant Riverside, Savannah River, Chatham County, Georgia


This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Chatham Area Transit (CAT) for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to modify an existing facility located on the Savannah River, Chatham County, Georgia. The project is less than 1/10 of an acre and is considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.

Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee Permit (CMPC) #702, issued April 17, 2015, authorized the extension of the riverwalk along the Savannah River seaward of Plant Riverside. Existing permitted structures within CMPA jurisdiction consist of 1,100 linear feet of steel sheetpile bulkhead with concrete cap, 5,868sq.ft. (0.14 acre) of backfill landward of the sheetpile bulkhead, a riverwalk platform that varies in width from 15ft. to 45ft. (27,619sq.ft.), and a performance platform (1,216sq.ft.) channelward of the riverwalk. Existing impacts in CMPA jurisdiction total approximately 34,703sq.ft. (0.80 acre).

The applicant is proposing the installation of a 14ft. x 24ft. covered landing area on the western end of the permitted riverwalk. New impacts include the construction and maintenance of a 15ft. x 20ft. pile supported platform (300sq.ft.), with a 5ft. x 80ft. (400sq.ft.) ADA-compliant gangway that will extend downstream and provide access to a 20ft. x 120ft. (2,400sq.ft.) concrete floating dock. The proposed modification will total 3,100sq.ft. (0.07 acre). The proposed floating dock will extend approximately 30ft. seaward of the riverwalk where the river is 833ft. wide at Mean Low Water (MLW).

Impacts to coastal marshlands for the existing and proposed structures total approximately 37,803sq.ft. (0.87 acre).

The float will be used exclusively by CAT’s Savannah Belles Ferry for temporary loading and unloading of passengers. To avoid conflict with container ships or navigation in the federal channel, no permanent or transient recreational mooring will be allowed at the floating dock. The dock will have water and electricity but no fuel or pumpout facilities.

The applicant has stated that the project does not contain an upland component.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the project is not contrary to the public interest and that no feasible alternative sites exist. Impacts to coastal marshlands must be minimal in size. In passing upon the application for permit, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee shall consider the public interest: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful obstruction to or alteration of the natural flow of navigational water within the affected area will arise as a result of the proposal; (2) Whether or not unreasonably harmful or increased erosion, shoaling of channels, or stagnant areas of water will be created; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicants proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, or other marine life, wildlife, or other resources, including but not limited to water and oxygen supply.
A detailed public notice with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: under “Public Notices.”

Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed work should or should not proceed.  Comments and questions concerning this proposed project should be submitted in writing and be submitted by the close of business on August 21, 2022 to Deb Barreiro, Department of Natural Resources, 185 Richard Davis Drive, Suite 104, Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324 or via email at

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