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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters: Threatened birds rely on Sullivan's Island maritime forest to survive

Painted Bunting

Sarah Díaz, director of the Sullivan's Island Bird Banding Station, recaptured this male Painted Bunting on April 21, a year to the date from when the bird had been originally banded. 

We recaptured a male painted bunting at the Sullivan’s Island Bird Banding Station on Wednesday, exactly one year after he had been banded.

This bird migrated to the tropics to overwinter and returned to the same location on Sullivan’s Island to breed.

Painted buntings overwinter in Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida.

The scrubland habitat in the protected land on Sullivan’s Island provides breeding habitat for this declining species, which is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as near threatened.

Unfortunately, most of the vegetation in our scrubland will soon be cut down, due to its perceived unimportance and unjust visual burden to adjacent property owners.

According to the recent mediation settlement for Zone 1, all cedar, pine and hackberry trees less than 12 inches in diameter and all other tree species less than 6 inches will be removed.

In addition, half of the myrtles will be removed and the remaining half will be cut to 5 feet. In the wetlands, all myrtles will be cut to 3 feet.

The scrubland is an early successional habitat and most of the vegetation is too large to remain under the new rules.

Wax myrtles comprise the bulk of the scrubland, along with Carolina cherry laurels and eastern cedars.

A large swath of breeding habitat for this declining bird species will be destroyed.

The founding principle of a conservation easement is to conserve habitat.

Ironically, the easement will no longer conserve the very species of plants and animals it was created to protect.

SARAH DIAZ

Middle Street

Sullivan’s Island

Prevent child abuse

Each April, during Child Abuse Prevention Month, child welfare advocates around the country work to raise awareness about the prevalence of child abuse and neglect and the preventive measures taken to keep families safe and together.

In the past fiscal year, more than 10,000 calls or reports were made to the state Department of Social Services alerting officials to potential cases of child abuse or neglect in the Lowcountry alone.

More than 3,000 of those reports were in Charleston County. Of those, 57% met the requirements for an investigation by DSS investigators.

These numbers tell us something we cannot ignore: Children are being abused and neglected in our community.

The good news is there are people in our community working to prevent it.

Carolina Youth Development Center has been working to protect Lowcountry children for over 230 years.

I am honored to be chairwoman of CYDC’s board of directors and work alongside professionals to ensure the safety, healing and well-being of our children and families.

CYDC serves more than 900 children and families each year through its residential and community-based programs. Two residential care campuses, in Berkeley and Charleston counties, provide for children in the foster care system, youth transitioning into adulthood and youth experiencing homelessness.

CYDC also provides a variety of community-based programs that help youth thrive and restore families.

Join us in creating awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month by spreading the word that child abuse exists in our community. Support is needed for organizations like CYDC that are doing the work to prevent it.

For more information on supporting Carolina Youth Development Services or to find free community resources visit CYDC.org.

RITA DAILY

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Chairwoman,

CYDC Board of Directors

Greenhill Street

Charleston

Questions for DOT

Now that the S.C. Department of Transportation has exercised its authority over the use of Palm Boulevard on the Isle of Palms, several questions come to mind.

Will DOT maintain the vegetation in the parking area rights of way?

How will police respond when island visitors make U-turns crossing the double yellow lines to access the new diagonal parking spots?

Will DOT adhere to state code and have the required number of designated handicap-accessible parking spots?

Given the parking density, speed reduction and appearance, when will the state add speed humps on Palm Boulevard and just declare it a parking lot?

And what does DOT have planned for the Isle of Palms Connector, which is already a parking lot on our beautiful beach days?

STUART TESSLER

49th Avenue

Isle of Palms

Praise for Roper

After attending an outdoor Mass in the beautiful gardens at Christ Our King Catholic Church in Mount Pleasant and lunch with friends, my health began going haywire around 5 p.m.

I endured the pain and considerable discomfort until 4 a.m. Monday.

After a call to EMS, I was transported to Roper St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley.

As the day progressed, I found myself in the capable hands of several doctors and nurses.

Within the next several days, I endured two procedures, each within 24 hours of each other.

The excellent care that I received from both doctors and nurses was nothing less than phenomenal.

I could not begin to name all involved for fear that I would miss a wonderful caregiver. The doctors were fantastic, but the nurses were exceptional in every manner.

The care I received during my five-day stay was professional, friendly and certainly gratifying.

EDWARD BERNARD

Harrison Avenue

Charleston

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