In July Audubon South Carolina submitted a letter to the Beaufort County Zoning Board of Appeals expressing its opposition to a proposal to develop a resort on Bay Point Island.

In doing so Audubon South Carolina joined a chorus of voices opposed to the proposal, including:

▪ Members of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
▪ Leading environmental organizations.
▪ Elected officials such as Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, state Sen. Chip Campsen and state Rep. Shannon Erickson.

With sea level rise pushing our barrier islands landward and development pushing them seaward, Bay Point represents one of the final lines of defense against a shrinking coastline — and the effects that hurricanes, storm-surge and flooding pose to nearby communities.

Instead of maintaining this protective shield, the proposed development would transform this shifting barrier island into a liability.

The development would also threaten vital habitat for South Carolina’s declining coastal bird populations — including both state and federally listed species such as the Red Knot, Least Tern and Piping Plover.

We hope the board will listen to the well-founded concerns of its constituents, and make the right decision by rejecting this proposal.

By Nolan Schillerstrom, Charleston
Schillerstrom is coastal program associate for Audubon South Carolina.

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