Neighbors, environment need better protection

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 23, 2014 

The jellyfish business has come to St. Helena Island, and with it the threat of the loss to the Eddings Point neighborhood.

The head of the company has written how much he expects to pay shrimpers for their cannonball jellyfish in 2018. Using industry standards, I calculate it will take more than 11,000 truck trips on Eddings Point Road in the four-month season to move the product. These trucks will meander down a 20-foot unpaved easement. Neighbors are already complaining of noise at night, property destruction and traffic, and the operation has just begun.

This is all in addition to the very real threat of polluting Jenkins Creek and its marshes. This creek has been designated as "unconditionally approved" for shellfishing, the most pristine rating. Any stormwater runoff or pollution will certainly jeopardize that rating, which will affect our commercial shell fishermen.

The company operates in a "Commercial Fishing Village" zone, but that does not make it immune from all the environmental rules in place, nor does it give it any right to degrade the neighborhood that designation was created to protect.

The company is belatedly asking Beaufort County for a permit to build a concrete slab it has already built in the county river buffer. I would suggest the county should say no because the county has the responsibility to ensure that any waiver not degrade the environment, be it water, air, noise or safety.

John Cashen

St. Helena Island

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