The Port of Georgetown has seen dwindling business in recent years and, with few prospects for more cargo, the State Ports Authority says dredging the site’s harbor doesn’t make financial sense, File

Georgetown port beyond saving despite misinterpretations of SC governor’s speech

It was just a few words in one sentence of Gov. Henry McMaster’s “State of the State” speech last month, but that single phrase has raised a lot of hopes — in turns out false — in the coastal city of Georgetown.

While talking about a $558 million project underway to dredge Charleston Harbor to a 52-foot depth, allowing big container ships to visit the Port of Charleston at any time, McMaster said: “we will add in the years ahead a revitalized Port of Georgetown ...”

Some in Georgetown took that to mean the governor wanted Georgetown Harbordredged so the little-used port could return to its former glory. A group of legislators representing the area — buoyed by what they thought the governor meant — promised in the wake of McMaster’s speech to renew their push to dredge the increasingly shallow waterway.

But McMaster wasn’t talking about dredging, according to spokesman BrianSymmes. Instead, the governor was referring to finding another use for the state-owned port property that could bring economic benefit to the region. A maritime terminal doesn’t serve that long-term goal.

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