I am president of Friends of the Kiawah River. Our organization’s mission is to protect the river from the adverse effects of development. We are asking the citizens of South Carolinia to join us in this effort by asking your representive and your state senator to pass without amendments a bill (S. 139) dealing with coastal zone critical areas without any amendments.
Here is why: Lawyers for the developer of Kiawah Island have asked the Legislature to allow the setback line to be moved on the narrow neck of Capt. Sam’s Spit where they hope to build a road to develop a portion of the spit.
On the river side of this rather narrow neck, the bank is eroding, while on the ocean side the beach is accreting. The neck is moving away from the setback line on the ocean side and closer to the line on the river side.
A setback line bars construction nearer to the water. Setback lines are moved but only periodically as the law allows.
On the face of it, it looks fair to move the setback line as the neck moves.
The devil lies in the details, and the devil is a 2,500-foot concrete seawall, which would be built on the river side of the neck to impede its natural movement. Further, the seawall would be built mostly on your land and in your water.
Paving the area would be detrimental to dolphins who use this sand to strand feed. Dolphins rush mullet up onto the sand banks and come partially out of the water to feed. Try this on concrete.
The seawall would be more threatening to the diamondback terrapins who use this neck area to lay their eggs in the sand.
It is well-documented that diamondback terrapins are in serious decline in the Kiawah River Basin. Most of their historic nesting areas have been developed.
Representative means what the name implies. Representative of the people of South Carolina, not representative of developers from out-of-state.
Make that call so that no amendments relating to Capt. Sam’s Spit are added to Senate Bill 139.