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      At Ga port, river respirators to help fish breathe

      SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Plans to deepen the Savannah harbor include a costly proposal to ensure fish can still breathe by using a dozen machines to inject oxygen into the river.

      In its final report on the harbor deepening released this month, the Army Corps of Engineers estimates it would cost taxpayers $70 million to get the 20-foot-tall oxygen machines set up, plus another $1.2 million each year to maintain and operate them.

      The machines would mechanically make up for a small loss of oxygen at the river bottom where fish, worms and even bacteria need it to breathe. The same technology is used in lakes and reservoirs across the U.S., but critics say using the machines to justify inflicting damage to the river is going too far.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)