Hardeeville, S.C., was little more than a pit stop 20 years ago—the last gas pumps and Waffle House along Miami-bound Interstate 95 before crossing the Savannah River into Georgia.
Today, its vision is to be home to a giant new industrial and residential area called RiverPort serving a proposed new port terminal adjacent to a national wildlife refuge on the South Carolina side of the river. Wildlife officials say the project will degrade wetlands and could interfere with water quality and wildlife—but a Trump-era rollback could allow it to be permitted before the Biden administration can reverse it.
RiverPort is pitting federal and state wildlife agencies and environmental groups against the state’s governor and local officials. It’s an echo of similar battles across the nation over development versus protection.