The Brunswick-Altamaha Canal cuts through Glynn County in a north to south direction, stretching for approximately 12 miles. Road, railway, and pedestrian crossings permit access and views of the canal along much of its length. This is highlighted by major road crossings, which include Route 303, Old Interstate 95, State Route 32, and Route 99. The canal was intended to function as a transportation corridor, linking Brunswick harbor with the Altamaha River located 12 miles to the north. Although construction began in 1836, the canal was not completed until 1854 due to financial problems. In June of 1854 the canal finally opened, but the success was short-lived after falling victim to the advent of the railroad. Water level in the canal was originally controlled by locks placed at each end, however, only those in the north remain.
In its present state, the canal has suffered from neglect. Stormwater runoff, coupled with the deterioration over time, has impacted the canal’s ability to support aquatic life. Additionally, parts of the canal have been filled in over time and long segments have become obstructed by vegetation. Mapping of the canal conducted in 1981 revealed considerable variability in both width and depth.
Analysis objectives seek to investigate the potential causes of impairment, while exploring opportunities for improving water quality, connecting the site to other cultural resources, and evaluating potential economic impacts from restoring the canal for public use.
*Work completed under previous employment