I read with interest the April 7 story on the situation at Harbour Town and the urgent need to dredge both the entranceway and the harbor.
For some reason the only dredging option that anybody is considering is the South Island Dredging Association proposal. I don't discount the fact that the proposal does solve a larger dredging issue for Sea Pines than just Harbour Town. But we are now almost two years into the permitting process with no permit in sight And even if a permit is issued, somebody will probably challenge it in court. Even a successful judicial outcome is several more years out.
There is another very practical concern. It is my understanding that the very area where the dredge spoil would be dumped is the same area Hilton Head Island takes sand for beach renourishment. Will that be a problem?
There is at least one other permanent solution to Harbour Town's problem -- creating a permanent upland disposal area in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. If a permit application is promptly filed, a permit just might be issued in time to dredge Harbour Town this winter. Dredging and upland disposal have previously been allowed.
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As your story points out, Harbour Town needed dredging several years ago. It will also need maintenance dredging every several years into the future.
A permanent, reusable solution must be implemented. Harbour Town is too important to Sea Pines and Hilton Head to keep getting deferred as part of a larger project.
Michael L.M. Jordan
Hilton Head Island