Georgia Ports Authority

Emily Jones / GPB News

New numbers out Thursday showed that nearly one in 10 Georgians has claimed unemployment benefits in the last month as the coronavirus spreads and shuts down much of the economy. The state's seaports are a major economic driver and support some nine percent of jobs in Georgia, while tourism is a key industry on the coast.

GPB Reporter Emily Jones spoke with All Things Considered Host Rickey Bevington about the impact on the coastal economy.

Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority

The Port of Savannah just reported its busiest February on record, up 17% over February 2019, according to new numbers released Monday. 


March will likely be a different story. Officials expect a drop of about 20% compared to last year.


Though traffic is down, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch told the Board of Directors there is still plenty for workers to do.


Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority

Georgia's ports remain open for business but are taking precautions against the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Monday.

The Georgia Ports Authority has postponed in-person meetings and suspended employee travel, port tours and non-essential visitors.

James Bruggers / InsideClimate News

Like hundreds of other cities, Louisville, Kentucky, is searching for a path to address climate change.


Mayor Greg Fischer has declared a climate emergency, proposed a climate action plan and set a goal of reducing citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. 

Georgia Ports Authority

As the Port of Savannah continues to grow, it has also made some changes to go greener. Several key operations have switched from diesel power to electric. But environmental groups say there is more the port could be doing.

Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority has announced plans to double the capacity of the Port of Savannah. 


Ports Executive Director Griff Lynch said at the State of the Ports event Thursday that the authority plans to establish a new container port on Hutchinson Island, which sits across the river from Savannah.

Georgia's seaports are celebrating another year of record growth in fiscal 2019, though their chief executive warns business will suffer if the U.S. doesn't resolve its trade war with China.

The world has six fewer North Atlantic Right Whales after a summer of loss for the endangered species. Four of the animals have died in the last week alone, and three of them were of breeding age.

The whales are Georgia's state marine mammal, and biologists are alarmed these deaths bring the species even closer to extinction. Clay George is a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. He's among those monitoring the numbers, and he spoke with On Second Thought about the dwindling population, the role of the Georgia coast in the whales' life cycle and the origins of their name.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter said Friday that he continues to push for more federal funding to deepen the Savannah harbor. The state has already paid its share to get the project underway. But federal dollars have been slower.


The price of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project keeps rising. It now stands at $973 million.


That’s one reason Carter said he hopes to get things moving more quickly.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Gov. Nathan Deal said Friday that he would support whatever is necessary to complete the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project "in a timely fashion," including the possibility of more state funding. 

Deal spoke at an event at the Port of Savannah welcoming the COSCO Development, the largest container ship ever to call on the U.S. East Coast.

'It Takes Up The Whole River!' US Ports Welcome Giant Ship

May 12, 2017
Stephen Morton / AP Photo/Georgia Ports Authority

The largest cargo ship ever to visit ports on the U.S. East Coast is so long the Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument could fit end-to-end along its deck and still leave room for Big Ben.

Georgia Ports Authority

On Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority announced the sale of five parcels of land for commercial development at GPA’s Savannah River International Trade Park. The new development can hold up to five million square feet of logistics space and is less than five miles away from Garden City Container Terminal.

Stephen Morton / Georgia Ports Authority

A delegation from Georgia was in Panama Sunday to mark the opening of the new expansion of the Panama Canal. It will allow larger cargo ships to pass from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.


The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is getting Georgia's ports ready to receive those ships. They do call at the Port of Savannah already, but they can't carry a full load of cargo and they can only travel up the river at high tide.