Beaufort County Councilman Rick Caporale's remarks concerning the Okatie River are puzzling.
Surely, he and council members didn't expect that buying land near the Okatie River would reverse years of approving clear-cutting for homes and roads that have led to its present state. The council continued to approve greater density levels, which are the source of the problem, even as they bought land. Watch what happens to the Graves property.
In fairness, the county also is trapped by state laws used by developers and the real estate industry. These laws allow them to bribe towns into annexing their land if the county's zoning doesn't suit them.
As reported by the Packet, for years the Okatie's problems have come from stormwater runoff. More development means more stormwater runoff flowing to the river. What happened to rules and law that say no industry is permitted to degrade a river? Apparently in Beaufort and Jasper counties, home-building and golf courses aren't "industries."
The best use for the few parcels taxpayers have bought around the Okatie would be to dig large deep containment ponds. Channel or pump stormwater runoff from our roads and developments to them. Don't approve any development that does not retain 100 percent of its runoff. Start suing towns and Jasper County for the pollution their runoff is causing us, along with shaming communities that surround the river for not redesigning their ponds so they really work.
Sound ridiculous? Tell us how you would reduce stormwater runoff if clean water means something to you.