Lowcountry in focus: the Kiawah Spit

The Coastal Conservation League, in association with GrowFood Carolina, reported on the status of Captain Sams Spit, Kiawah Island, in their recent newsletter, Lowcountry in focus:

Captain Sams Spit is a 150-acre teardrop-shaped landform on the south end of Kiawah Island. (A spit is a narrow coastal land formation that is tied to the coast at one end.) Today, Captain Sams Spit provides critical habitat for hundreds of species of birds each year, including some among our most threatened or endangered, such as American oystercatchers, black skimmers, piping plovers, Wilson’s plovers, least terns, royal terns, and Forster’s terns.

However, a developer is proposing to build a 1/2-mile long concrete bulkhead and 50 houses on this highly sensitive and highly mobile stretch of sand. After a series of legal challenges initiated by the Coastal Conservation League, we are still waiting for the South Carolina Supreme Court’s third ruling on the developer’s proposal to construct a wall along the fragile shore of Captain Sams Spit. And thanks to our partners at the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, we are pleased to report that the Supreme Court denied a request by the developer to move forward with construction before the Court issues its third decision, which will allow Captain Sams to remain in its current pristine state until a decision on the project is reached.

For more information about Captain Sams Spit, visit: http://coastalconservationleague.org/projects/captain-sams-spit/.

The video 50 Houses on Kiawah Sand documented Captain Sams Spit in 2009, featuring Professor Emeritus Orrin H. Pilkey of Duke University. Delete Apathy continues to provide updates about this issue.

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