Oppose sand renourishment on Kiawah Spit

Eroding beach on Captain Sams Spit, photograph by Cecelia Dailey

Eroding beach on Captain Sams Spit, photograph by Cecelia Dailey

Developer seeks state permit for Capt. Sam’s Spit beach restoration on Kiawah Island, the Post & Courier reported. Erosion has been persistent here, and “the spit is no longer wide enough to permit a road due to setback regulations,” citizens Timothy and Peggy Barnes wrote.

Tomorrow, March 22, is the deadline for requesting a DHEC hearing on this action. Here is the letter I sent to williabn@dhec.sc.gov because of Marilyn Blizard’s alert:

Captain Sam’s is an incredible wildlife site. Dumping sand on the beach is deadly to plants and animals. This action most definitely requires review by DHEC! There are no structures to “protect” except a future development which has been opposed for years, and a parking lot, which should be moved as erosion encroaches upon it. A living barrier island is dynamic and allowed to migrate with storm overwash, as dunes are crushed and rebuilt by natural forces. Do what is right for this beloved natural site.

It has come to my attention that this permit has been submitted by the Kiawah Partners, II LLC to install 8,000 cubic yards of material to build up land that is in the area known by all as Capt. Sam’s Spit. This has been identified as ‘minor’ but in essence is reported to be about 400 truckloads of fill to a highly vulnerable section of Kiawah Island.

Since such a sizeable undertaking deserves a public hearing I am requesting that the SC DHEC-OCRM rejects the permitting of this project under General Permit GP-17-SMD so the project can be appropriately resubmitted & evaluated under the normal Individual Permit process with a public hearing scheduled.

This project looks to be an infringement on access to public trust land and destruction of habitat, especially for threatened or endangered species. The wintering Piping Plover, Loggerhead turtles of the ocean as well as the Diamondback Terrapins of the Kiawah River come to mind. Therefore I respectfully request that a public hearing be scheduled following the resubmitting and evaluation of this request by the Kiawah Partners, II LLC for this major movement of sand.

Thank you,

Cecelia Dailey

Kiawah Spit, aerial photography by Mary Edna Fraser

Kiawah Spit, aerial photography by Mary Edna Fraser

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CAREnergy campaign named ‘Project for Good’ by IGG, deadline extended to February 16th

Mary Edna made a donation of $100 to support further development of Dr. Janice Ryan-Bohac’s Energy Tuber. We urge philanthropists and fellow South Carolinians to fund this project. The Energy Tuber is promising material for biofuel, capable of higher yields than corn and sorghum.

Marilyn Blizard of Kiawah, SC reports that Dr. Janice Ryan-Bohac has been chosen to participate in the Climate Reality Project. She will be in Denver, Colorado March 2-4 for an intensive program with Al Gore & fellow scientists. We are thrilled to have Dr. Janice deliver the news about CAREnergy’s Energy Tuber to the gathering, planet-wide in scope.

Dr. Janice Ryan-Bohac is an internationally recognized sweetpotato breeder with over 26 years experience. She has a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from TAMU. She is a leading world authority in breeding sweetpotatoes for insect and disease resistance, sustainability, value-added products like fries, chips, and food ingredients like starch and protein powders. She has released over a dozen sweetpotato varieties and has patented the Energy Tuber for renewable energy and green chemicals.

Donate to the Indiegogo campaign: http://igg.me/at/energytuber

Company website: http://www.carenergyinfo.com


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Sweetpotatoes “the Energy Tuber” to feed, fuel the world


Here in South Carolina, Dr. Janice Ryan-Bohac has created unique product that could be a new green industry. The Energy Tuber is a large sweetpotato, developed for its high yield, useful as a new source of biofuel. Leaves and vines are “high in protein and vitamins, and highly digestible”–good for animal feed, according to research cooperators at the University of Florida. The Energy Tuber also contains a valuable “white storage protein, with an amino acid complement similar to egg protein. This white, tasteless, odorless protein powder can be used like whey or soy protein, for sports drinks, baby formula, adult supplements, etc.” as stated on their Indiegogo campaign. Ethanol produced from the Energy Tuber can be used as a biofuel to replace gasoline, or to produce diesel and jet fuel using chemical or biological methods. More information can be seen on the CAREnergy website: http://www.carenergyinfo.com.

Ethanol from the Energy Tuber can produce diesel and jet fuel. The Charleston Regional Business Journal reported on Nov. 2, 2016 that CAREnergy is working with researchers who have a chemical process to turn ethanol into jet fuel. They also report: “Soybean can do about 70 gallons of diesel per acre, canola about 100, corn 300 to 400. My sweetpotato can do 1,800. We get the highest yield of any other carbohydrate feedstock in the temperate zone,” according to Dr. Janice Ryan-Bohac, President and Plant breeder at Carolina Advanced Renewable Energy. This is a product that could shift us away from destructive fossil fuels. The next step for CAREnergy is work with investors to build their first ethanol production plant.

I asked Dr. Ryan-Bohac about current processing of biofuel and she replied: “We have shown in 50 L tests with the National Corn Ethanol Research Center that the eTuber makes ethanol using same process as corn. Crop could be processed in a corn ethanol plant with some modifications. The reason we are fund raising is to work with one of the Federal Dept of Energy laboratories to do a scale-up process and design for the first plant. We have proven the process works, now we need to show big investors that process will scale up, how we will process food and feed products, and to demonstrate the economics work.”

When I asked if they partner with any organic growers, Dr Ryan-Bohac said, “We have grown the energy tuber variety on a certified organic farm with a big California farmer for 3 years. It has performed well since it has resistance to soil insects and nematodes. In contrast the 2 leading vegetable sweetpotato varieties are highly susceptible to these pests. The Energy Tuber uses significantly less pesticides, nitrogen fertilizer and water than corn grown for fuel. We would reduce Green House Gas (GHG) footprint by 75% over gasoline, even more if we use renewable energy to run the plant, and add on the value of the food and feed products produced. “Ryan-Bohac has 2 farmers in South Carolina she’s worked with, as well as “two in California, and three in Florida. Farmers will not grow a lot of this crop until a biofuel plant is built, and then will grow the crop under contract.”

I wondered if it was GMO and she replied, “The Energy Tuber is a sweetpotato that was developed through conventional plant breeding methods. It was NOT developed using Genetic Engineering Methods, thus is not a GMO.”

How would sweetpotatoes fare in the face of unpredictable climate? Ryan-Bohac replied, “Sweetpotato is the 7th largest crop in the world and is grown in many different soils and climatic areas. It is a tropical/semi tropical crop that performs well under high temperatures, with little water and in poor soils. It will grow and maintain yield under climate change much better than temperate crops like corn.”

Marilyn Blizard, Project Coordinator, gave us the news of “CAREnergy’s Energy Tuber, an emerging Clean Energy Fuel technology for changing the world for the better.” Wonderful gifts at every donation level include 50 sweetpotato plants for your garden or 10lbs of vegetable sweetpotatoes for $150 donation.

View their video and presentation here: http://igg.me/at/energytuber. (Here is their Facebook page and alternate link for the video: https://www.facebook.com/pg/carenergyinfo/videos/.)

I believe this action will help to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. There is no time to waste getting the green economy underway.

A note about language from Dr. Ryan-Bohac: “Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is one word. The sweet is not an adjective describing a potato (Solanum tuberosum) as sweet describes corn as in ‘sweet corn’. This is why those of us who work on the crop insist on one word.”

Additional reading:

A Story With A Revolutionary Twist, Just In Time For Thanksgiving, The Island Connection, 11/15/16

“Will ‘eTubers’ fly as fuel source?” Post & Courier, 3/7/16

Ethanol Potential in Giant Sweet Potatoes, Energy.Agwire.Com, 5/10/11

Sweet Potato Ethanol, South Carolina Breeder Creates Sweet Potatoes for Processing, Biofuels Journal, 5/1/11

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