It emphasized the Engineering Excellence award that was given for the project's success by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and the Georgia Engineering Alliance.
The restoration of 1.9 acres of historical salt marsh and 2.5 acre upland buffer was necessary not only for the continued operation of the facility but has proved to be a benefit to Southern LNG Company, LLC (SLNG) for the future expansion of the Terminal to liquefy domestic natural gas for export. The Elba Island Salt Marsh Restoration Project was a critical path project in order to maintain operations at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Elba Island owned and operated by SLNG, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.
Elba Island (780 acres) is located in the Lower Savannah River Harbor approximately 5 miles east of Savannah, Georgia. To support continued operations and allow for LNG deliveries, approximately 1.25 million cubic yards of maintenance dredging is permitted annually to maintain SLNG's marine berth and ship turning basin in the Savannah River. The receiving point for this dredge material is an approximately 240-acre upland dredge material containment area (DMCA).
One year after completion of construction, the project was already meeting its 5-year performance measures, which exceeded everyone's expectations including those of SLNG, Geosyntec, and the regulatory agencies. Further, the Federal and State regulatory community, having seen the project's success first-hand, endorsed Geosyntec's assessment and design methodology and have called it a "model" for other salt marsh restoration projects in Georgia. The success of the restored marsh establishing so quickly and performing at the five-year performance goals affirmed the successful approach of the multidisciplinary team's concept that "process defines form and function." The Geosyntec team dedicated the time needed to understanding this unique ecological resource, and the natural processes that create sustainable ecological conditions.