March 17, 2021

All Set for a Supreme Court Showdown Over Captain Sams Spit | E-News for March 2021

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Dear Friend,

This month, Your Lawyers for the Wild Side are going to court over two separate cases aiming to protect some of our most outstanding coastal resources. 

After a three-month postponement, on Tuesday, March 23rd the South Carolina Supreme Court will hear our arguments on why an eroding stretch of beach leading out to Captain Sams Spit, a fragile barrier spit on Kiawah Island, is no place to build a 2,380-foot steel wall, along with a roadway, stormwater management system, water lines and utility lines. 

For 12 years and counting, SCELP, the Coastal Conservation League and our supporters have victoriously fended off the development of the pristine sandy inlet, one of the last three of its kind available to everyone.  

The same week I fight for Captain Sams, Staff Attorney Lauren Megill Milton will make our case before the South Carolina Mining Council on why the massive expansion of a sand mine between a national forest and wildlife refuge in Awendaw is a very bad idea for the area's wildlife, waters and residents' way of life. 

SCELP is here to protect our special places from irreparable harm, and with your support, we will persist and keep the fight alive. 

Thank you and wish us luck next week,     

Amy E. Armstrong

How to Watch the Captain Sams Showdown

Watch on Tuesday! Although this hearing involves a new set of permits, it will be the fifth time the state Supreme Court weighs in on the proposed 50-home development on Captain Sams Spit in this long-running legal saga. The Court has ruled favorably three times already and most recently in 2018, when we blocked the construction of a half-mile long bulkhead/revetment on the Kiawah River. Due to COVID-19 precautions, Amy will appear alone before the five Justices in Columbia, but we hope you tune into the livestream when Court is in session!

WHAT: Captain Sams Spit Oral Arguments 
WHEN: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 
HOW: Visit the 
Supreme Court Livestream page at 11:20 a.m.


King Tract: Mine Your Own Business

Also on behalf of the Coastal Conservation League, Lauren heads for trial against a state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) permit allowing the King Tract mine in Awendaw to expand its current 5-acre operation an additional 59 acres, along with more than 900 acres of reserves for future mining projects. Due to the mine's numerous wastewater discharge violations, a greatly expanded operation will impact the precious lands, waters and wildlife the project is sited between: Francis Marion National Forest and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. "DHEC must consider the water quality impacts of a project as well as the impacts on the protected forests around us, the Francis Marion (National Forest) around us, and important waterways," Lauren told ABC News 4 before her South Carolina Mining Council appearance. Learn more...

You Can Count On Us, We Must Count On Each Other

Earlier this month, the SCELP staff took a break from our computers for a day-and-a-half-long retreat in beautiful McClellanville. (Don't worry, we all took COVID tests before we met!) We discussed the mounting pressures on South Carolina's water, land and communities, as reflected by the surge in Help Requests in our inboxes and phone lines.

Our small but mighty team is ever-motivated to fight for the Wild Side, but with six lawyers working across the entire state we simply don't have the human resources to engage with every planning commission/county level decision. Making your voice heard by local elected and appointed officials is increasingly important, especially in areas with a long history of favoring the developers over the public interest. Moreover, it is very helpful for our intervention, when possible, to have an informed and engaged group of concerned citizens monitoring the situation on the ground.

Is there anything more we can do to help you do that? Call or email us with your ideas and suggestions!


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