We’ve been talking about the need to dredge Georgetown’s port for years. Sunday’s editorial suggests now it’s time to get past the talking stage.
Imagine yourself as a visitor at the baseball diamond at Georgetown’s Morgan Park, the Florida-shaped peninsula that makes up the city’s southeastern point. It is a cool fall afternoon. The sun is shining, a fresh breeze comes off the nearby water, and at some point during the afternoon you gaze across the channel.
If you look west from your perch on Bay Street, you’ll see the houses in the distance across the way, or at least their docks jutting into the water. In between will be the final leg of the Sampit River, the home stretch for boats headed to the Port of Georgetown. At this section, the river is about 1,000 feet wide and sedate (most days) as it joins the Great Pee Dee, Black and Waccamaw Rivers just over your shoulder on their collective way to Winyah Bay and then the ocean.
The scene will look familiar to many in Georgetown, and on the surface, not much has changed in recent years. But underneath, the river’s bottom has gotten steadily closer to the surface. As silt has worked its way down the Sampit, it has settled in the channel, particularly in the curve of the island Lafayette Park, where the Sampit makes a sharp turn south toward the ocean.