Seawall denied is a victory for the Kiawah Spit

The recent ruling against the construction of a seawall along the backside of the Kiawah Spit comes after five years of litigation and reversed rulings from the South Carolina Supreme Court. This is a pivotal moment in which our laws protecting sensitive coastal areas have been upheld; we hope this will serve as a precedent.

We are overjoyed that this seawall will not be built and the Kiawah Spit stands a much greater chance of being protected. Thank you to all involved. This win took the efforts of many concerned citizens and expert lawyers.

Below is a letter from Dana Beach, head of the Coastal Conservation League, with articles illuminating the importance of this ruling for the Kiawah Spit, and the South Carolina coast in general.

On Dec 11, 2014, at 8:21 AM, Dana Beach <Da*******@sc***.org> wrote:

“Never, never, … never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.”


Apropos of Churchill’s exhortation, the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled to deny permits for the landing-strip sized seawall along the back of Captain Sams Spit, on the western end of Kiawah Island. This is the THIRD time the court has ruled on this case, and it is almost certainly the last.

The Kiawah developers, initially Buddy Darby and Leonard Long, and now a Charlotte based firm backed by a hedge fund in New York, sought the permit to give the impression that the highly unstable Spit, which has been underwater at times over the years, was appropriate for the construction of 50 houses. Take a look at the pictures in the articles for a sense of just how foolish this proposal was.

These articles, by Bo Petersen with the Post and Courier, Sammy Fretwell with the State, Channel 4’s news team, and from the editorial page of the Post and Courier, explain why this is a monumental victory for the environment, for recreation and for taxpayers.

Our Churchill in this effort is Amy Armstrong with the South Carolina Law Project, whose persistence and expertise produced this superb outcome.


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