Green groups urge critical look at RiverPort

Green groups urge critical look at RiverPort

One thing is settled: There’s a great deal at stake at the future RiverPort business park. But while supporters say the project will create 24,000 jobs by year 30 in the impoverished region, others warn of the risks to critical habitat, freshwater wetlands and the fragile life they support. The Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating a proposal from Stratford Land, the City of Hardeeville, and Jasper County for the 5,000-acre site that shares a six-mile boundary with the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. ¬†Last month the corps held a public meeting and collected comments for its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on RiverPort and the proposed new interchange on I-95. The development site is located just north of the future Jasper Ocean Terminal spot, amid other controversial projects inthe ecologically sensitive area. “I always believed that to make a quality of life a greater quality of life, you need a job, and that’s what it’s all abouttoday,” said Hardeeville Mayor Bronco Bostick, during last month’s public meeting. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity to bring quality in numbers of new jobs, and it’s an area that desperately needs it,” said Tom DeMint, a senior advisor at commercial real estate firm Sperry Van Ness. He said he represents the Dowling family,which owns the Sherwood Plantation Tract and has a 2 1/2-mile boundary with the RiverPort site. But those jobs may come at a cost.? On Thursday, Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus, warned that the effects of the massive development could offset someof the environmental mitigation measures for the Savannah Harbor deepening project. ¬†She also questioned what steps...