SC Ports Logo

176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail:


Charleston Deepening Advances in U.S. House

SCSPA Applauds Congressman Brown

Charleston, SC - A key U.S. House committee today approved expedited studies of harbor deepening in the Port of Charleston through the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2010.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) is seeking a post-45-foot deepening project to handle ever larger ships in the Port of Charleston, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advancing the studies.

Thanking the leadership of 1st District Congressional Representative Henry Brown, SCSPA Board Chairman Bill Stern said, “Congressman Brown has been a workhorse for our ports and this state for years. He keenly understands that shipping channels are national infrastructure, essential to the nation's economy and defense, as well as vital to jobs in South Carolina. We thank Congressman Brown for his efforts today to have this language in WRDA.”

The language passed by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee directs the Secretary of the Army to expedite completion of the Reconnaissance and Feasibility studies for the next deepening project in Charleston and to proceed with preconstruction, engineering and design once the project is justified.

The Port of Charleston is currently 47 feet deep at mean low water in the entrance channel and 45 feet deep inside the harbor. Charleston's channels have the opportunity to go even deeper, accommodating larger ships serving world trade with the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014.

“Charleston already has the region's deepest channels and accommodates post-Panamax ships today,” said Jim Newsome, president & CEO of the SCSPA. “The next deepening will take Charleston beyond 45 and 47 feet, opening the port to all classes of the world's most modern vessels under any tidal condition. With the support of our delegation, we are ready for the Panama Canal expansion and beyond.”

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at nearly $45 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and $44.8 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit