Georgia Ports Authority, Modification of CMPA Permit #725, Construction and Maintenance of a Pile-Supported Ship Berth and Dredging, South Brunswick River, Glynn County, Georgia


This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Georgia Ports Authority for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq. to construct and maintain a pile-supported berth which will include dredging at Colonels Island Terminal on the South Brunswick River in Glynn County, Georgia. The proposed project is under 1/10 of an acre, and therefore may be considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.

CMPA Permit #725 was issued October 21, 2016 and authorized construction, dredging, and maintenance of Berth 4 at Colonels Island Terminal, South Brunswick River, Glynn County, Georgia. A time extension was authorized for CMPA Permit #725 on January 6, 2022.

The applicant proposes to modify CMPA Permit #725. According to the applicant the berth has not been constructed to date due to shifts in cargo demands and various market factors. During this time it was discovered stronger components are needed on the connector bridge to make the facility “high and heavy” compatible and a wide access platform at the junction of the wharf and the landside connector road is needed for safety purposes. Minor shifts in the connector roads and mooring/breasting dolphin system are also needed. The modifications proposed will decrease the overall permanent structural impacts from 170,422sq.ft (3.912 acres) to 159,144sq.ft. (3.653 acres). No changes are being proposed to the dredging and mitigation area or upland component as permitted in CMPA Permit #725.

Pile Supported Berth
The proposed Berth 4 will be installed east of the existing Berth 1. A new 45ft. x 605ft. (27,225sq.ft.) access bridge will extend from the upland and connect to an 80ft. x 105ft. (8,400sq.ft.) platform. The platform will connect the landside bridge to the 144ft. x 600ft. (86,400sq.ft.) berth. The new berth will connect to the eastern portion of the existing Berth 1 with a 45ft. x 685ft. (30,825sq.ft.) bridge. A 4ft. x 486ft. (1,944sq.ft.) catwalk will extend right of Berth 4 to a system of three (3) 27ft. x 30ft. (2,430sq.ft.) concrete breasting dolphins and four (4) 20ft. x 24ft. (1,920sq.ft.) concrete mooring dolphins.

Proposed permanent impacts to jurisdictional coastal marshlands for the construction of the pile-supported ship berth total approximately 159,144sq.ft. (3.653 acres) with approximately 38,375sq.ft. (0.88 acres) of additional temporary impacts associated with construction.

As permitted in CMPA Permit #725, the applicant proposes to dredge and maintain a 443,441sq.ft. (10.18 acre) area around the proposed Berth 4 site to achieve depths needed for ships to dock. Approximately 285,000 cubic yards of material will be removed using a hydraulic cutterhead. The proposed dredge elevation at the face of Berth 4 will be -36.0 mean low water (MLW), plus 2ft. of overdredge. A 10ft. wide trough below the fender will be dredged to -40.0 MLW for the section parallel to the new Berth 4. Maintenance dredging proposed will be completed using agitation or hydraulic method and will not exceed 8,000 cubic yards of material annually. Dredged material will be disposed of at the existing Andrews Island disposal area. Proposed permanent impacts to jurisdictional coastal marshlands for the dredging project are approximately 443,441sq. ft. (10.18 acres).

Federally Mandated Mitigation
As permitted in CMPA Permit #725, the applicant is also proposing to temporarily impact jurisdictional coastal marshlands while completing onsite mitigation required by the Army Corps of Engineers for the Berth 4 project. The upland area and portions of jurisdictional marsh directly seaward of the current CMPA jurisdiction line will be graded to adjacent marsh elevations and planted with Spartina alterniflora. Proposed temporary impacts to jurisdictional coastal marshlands for the mitigation site total 27,645sq.ft. (0.63 acres).

Total proposed impacts to jurisdictional marsh for the project are approximately 66,020sq.ft. (1.52) acres of temporary impacts during construction and 613,863sq.ft. (14.9 acres) of permanent impacts.

The upland component as permitted in CMPA permit #725 consists of an approximately 7,405sq.ft. (0.17 acre) area where the proposed access bridge will originate and the area that will be graded to marsh elevation to satisfy the federally mandated mitigation for the project. No changes are proposed to the 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. 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 applicant's 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 February 18, 2023 to Beth Byrnes, Department of Natural Resources, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520 or via email at

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