Moultrie News by Catherine Main
I thought there was total community support for saving the local seafood industry, but I now know there are some residents who are opposed to its existence and want the land to have a private use – a result they think will keep from disrupting the surrounding residential community. Shem Creek has always been industrial and the residences have slowly encroached upon the seafood industrial use. The working waterfront was there first!
East Cooper Land Trust’s vision is to keep the entire Wando Dock parcel for public benefit so the seafood industry has a fighting chance. They need adequate facilities and dockage to have long-term sustainability. If a portion of the property is made private and dockage for the shrimp boats gets converted to dockage for pleasure boats, this would encumber an already struggling seafood industry. Do we want to look back in 40 years and wish we had done something to save it?
The Town of Mount Pleasant has some dockage for shrimp boats across the creek, but it is only enough for about 4 shrimp boats and the water there is shallow, making it hard for some of the boats to tie up there. Losing dock space would limit how many commercial vessels could use the creek – limiting the public’s access to local seafood. There really is nowhere else in Mount Pleasant for them to go. And Mount Pleasant has one of the last seafood industrial waterfronts in Charleston County and the State of South Carolina.
East Cooper Land Trust enlisted a nationally known Landscape Architect, Dennis Carmichael to draw our vision of what this property could look like and how it could best be used. The use would be very similar to what it is today with plenty of room for processing, freezers, and the equipment the seafood industry needs to survive.
(Caption for Drawings:)
East Cooper Land Trusts vision of Wando Dock property
• Facilities to support all local fisherman
• Public benefit of sustainable local seafood source
• Improved dockage, offloading, processing, freezer storage, and wholesale market
• Separate facilities for a retail market so public can buy seafood at dockside
• Area for peeler crabs, oysters, clams and more
• Land will be protected forever under a conservation easement allowing these uses.
We have spoken to Charleston County about partnering with us on a grant submission to make these facility and dock improvements and they are in favor.
The landowners of this property have been in the seafood business for over 50 years and we assume have a desire to keep the industry afloat, they also have a right to get a fair market price for the land. It is our hope that we can raise the money through a collaboration of groups and individuals working together to save the seafood industry.
We are hosting a rally on Monday from 6-8 pm at the public boardwalk of Shem Creek Park. Come out and show your support of Local Seafood! Add your name to a support letter and/or make a pledge to contribute to the land acquisition of Wando Dock. Anyone who makes a pledge by tomorrow at 8 pm will be eligible for prizes including dinner for two at ACME Lowcountry Kitchen. Please join us in saving land for local seafood!
http://eastcooperland.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_1513-1.jpg11251500ECLT/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ECLT-logo.pngECLT2018-07-23 19:09:142018-07-26 19:43:23OpEd - Wando Dock - Public Benefit vs. Private Use
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Who we are
The East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current & future generations.