Georgia Voices: The importance of Georgia's seaports
by the Savannah Morning News
June 04, 2010 12:00 AM | 763 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Call it the great equalizer. As Georgia's economy soured in 2008 and 2009, drying up jobs and investment, one critical industry served as a key lifeline - the state's ports.

Indeed, almost 9,000 new jobs were created statewide since 2006, thanks to the ports in Savannah and Brunswick, according to a just-released study by the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

That's impressive. It's also no huge surprise.

But this new information does put recent events into context. As bad as the state's double-digit unemployment rate has been, it could have been worse if not for the East Coast's fastest-growing port.

And more importantly, it underscores what's at stake for Georgia's future. The Savannah River ship channel must be deepened for the port-related job growth to continue. The larger ships that will be using the expanded Panama Canal in 2014 must be able to count on Savannah as a port-of-call.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is wrapping up its exhaustive study of the channel deepening. If anyone still questions the impact of what a deeper port means in terms of more jobs, higher incomes, greater production of goods and services and more revenue for public services, this Terry College report should sink all doubts.
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