April 15, 2022

Rey Llerena, WCSC Live 5

Debate reignites over fate of Gadsden Creek in downtown Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Debate has reignited over the fate of a tidal creek on the Charleston peninsula, one which activists say is important to the area’s Black community.

Many years ago, Gadsden Creek used to take up around 100 acres on the peninsula, but now, it’s down to just four acres after it was used as a landfill.

However, the WestEdge Foundation wants to fill in the remaining portions of the creek with a $15 million project to address flooding in the area.

WestEdge CEO Michael Maher says they have looked at every possible way to keep the creek, but there is no feasible way to do that.

Right now, the permit to start work on filling in the creek is being challenged in court by Friends of Gadsden Creek, a nearby activist group.

Activists like Mika Gadsden disagree with needing to fill in the creek and say they have been working with engineers on a plan to revitalize it.

She also says the creek is significant to Charleston’s Black community.

“The creek used to be a place where folks lived off of,” Gadsden said. “They would fish and crab from the creek. They had industries that they used to run from the creek. This was a vital resource economically and for recreation.”

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