Letters to the Editor

Area moving forward to protect waterways

Recent articles, editorials and letters to the editor have highlighted the need to protect the quality of our waterways and the progress being made to upgrade stormwater management requirements, both in Beaufort County and our municipalities.

The county, city of Beaufort and towns of Port Royal and Bluffton have endorsed the standard that post-construction runoff should not exceed pre-construction levels, or the volume of runoff when the land was in a natural state.

Some controversy has developed regarding the means to apply this standard, in particular the cost associated with one type of on-lot controls when constructing homes on individual lots.

The city of Beaufort and town of Port Royal are rightfully concerned that these costs would favor sprawl development and be a disincentive for their goal for infill and redevelopment in order to build more compact, sustainable communities.

However, the fairly costly option that has been publicized is not the only option presented in the county stormwater ordinance -- it is simply one approach.

The Coastal Conservation League has been working with the county and city of Beaufort and town of Port Royal to examine and advance a variety of other, significantly less costly options that promote smart growth while assuring protection of our waters.

The county and municipalities are to be commended for their cooperative efforts and forward-looking approach to water quality protection.

Reed Armstrong

Coastal Conservation League