Future of Georgia port expansion hinges on oxygen injectors

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The federal agency overseeing the deepening of Savannah’s busy shipping channel is performing critical tests to determine if mechanically pumping oxygen into the waterway will give enough of a boost to help fish breathe.

The Army Corps of Engineers is spending $100 million on a pair of oxygen-injecting stations on the Savannah River. The machines are intended to offset a drop in dissolved oxygen in the water as the river is deepened by 5 feet (1.5 meters) between the Port of Savannah and the Atlantic Ocean.

A 2013 legal settlement with conservation groups requires the Corps to test the oxygen injectors and show that they work before dredging the inner harbor furthest upriver. Those tests began on Valentine’s Day and are expected to continue until mid-May.

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