We are working with the Coastal Conservation League and local residents in challenging a DHEC permit authorizing dredging and excavating critical area salt marsh in order to convert a unique and highly valuable freshwater pond and wetland system into a saltwater mitigation bank.
Converting the freshwater pond would not only disrupt the habitat of plants, birds and fish but would also risk damage to the area from stormwater runoff if development happens close by and make the area even more susceptible to sea level rise and marsh migration.
The sole purpose of this project is economic benefit to the developer, which has already entered into an extremely lucrative contract with Charleston County for over $19 million in order to sell "credits" to offset marsh impacts associated with future road projects.
The DHEC board held a hearing on our challenge on May 5, 2022, and voted to affirm the permit with special conditions, including requiring sediment testing.
Point Farm developers also wanted the Charleston County Board of Zoning Appeals to approve the removal of a grand live oak tree and allow encroachment into 1.3 acres of protected buffer next to tidal land.
The BZA rejected the variance requests, but Point Farm appealed the decision to Circuit Court. On June 6, 2022, SCELP filed a motion to intervene in order to support the decision of the BZA and to ensure that the court does not side with the developer in allowing this project to proceed.