January 9, 2023

A Note on Gadsden Creek

You may have seen articles in which WestEdge attempts to characterize SCELP’s attempt to save Gadsden Creek as a ‘misguided fight’.

Our fight is guided by the sense of doing what is right and just, not only for the environment, but for members of the Gadsden Green community, who use the creek as a valuable resource and don't want it taken away. Our fight is guided by facts, which show that the water quality of Gadsden Creek is the same as the Ashley River which flows into it. By the fact that the Dutch Dialogues authors concluded that they “cannot recommend the filling or impairment of Gadsden Creek or its drainage functions.” And the fact that for decades, members of the community were victims of environmental racism – and nobody seemed to care about addressing flooding in the community or cleaning up Gadsden Creek, even when money was budgeted for it. Nobody cared until the profitable opportunity for a mixed-use development came around.

We're not alone in this fight. We are fighting on behalf of our clients, Friends of Gadsden Creek, but also with the support and testimonies of many passionate individuals and groups. Other state and federal agencies, including the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, also oppose filling Gadsden Creek.

We are guided by our history - working on behalf of the environment and communities across South Carolina for over 35 years. If SCELP and our partners had chosen not to challenge other Administrative Law Court decisions, Charleston would have a mixed-use development at the Angel Oak, a new commercial cruise ship terminal at Union Pier and a 50-house residential development on Captain Sams Spit.

Sometimes the most important fights aren't the ones that make developers millions of dollars - they're the ones that protect the resources we can never get back, and yes, the ones that encourage cities to clean up their mistakes from the past instead of just paving over them with concrete.

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