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Poop, Plastic Lobbyists, Oyster Shells

Welcome to your January 2019 Keeper’s Report from Charleston Waterkeeper! After a hiatus in 2018, the Keeper’s Report is back in a fresh new format. Pollution doesn’t sleep so neither do we. Buckle up, we’ve had a lot of coffee . . .

They’re Back!

The ban on bans is back in your South Carolina General Assembly. It’s the same DC think-tank bill plastic lobbyists push in states all over the country. After failing the last 3 years to pass it here, it’s back again, and this time it doesn’t grandfather in local bans already in place. That might be fine up in DC but it’s not right for our local communities. We stand with Charleston, Mount Pleasant, James Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island.

Act Now: Ask your SC Senator to do the same and oppose bill S.394.

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Hollywood digests sewer deal

This month Charleston Water System proposed a plan to help Hollywood get out from under its failing sewer system. After years of neglect and small spills, Hollywood spilled 10 million gallons of sewage into the Stono River last January. The spill shut down oyster harvesting from the Harbor to the North Edisto River. Since then, we’ve tracked this issue very closely to ensure Hollywood sewer problems get fixed and stay fixed.

Brass tacks: The CWS plan is a good deal for the Town of Hollywood, it’s citizens, your Stono River, and local oystermen.

Volunteer gets dirty, likes it

Cooler weather means it’s Volunteer Corp time! We’re putting folks just like you in the marsh and knee deep in mud for clean water. It’s a lot of fun! You should join for a volunteer event (or five). Still not sure the Volunteer Corp is for you? See what you’re missing:

Oyster bagging with DNR’s SCORE program and Lowcountry Land Trust

Oyster shell recycling at the Lowcountry Oyster Festival with Coastal Conservation Association and Lowcountry Land Trust

Get wet and muddy: sign up for a volunteer event today

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If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck . . .

And it quacks like a duck, it’s probably in a local wetland that could lose protection under the EPA’s effort to gut the established definition of “Waters of the United States.” There’s a lot political rhetoric around this one–don’t get distracted. Underneath it all, it’s a bad idea for our waterways. Estimates show that up to 70% of South Carolina’s wetlands could lose protection. With no state or local protections in place, it would make it much easier to destroy these special places forever.

Soggy feet: We set up a visit to local cypress/tupelo pond to show the Post and Courier just what’s at stake if this bad idea moves forward.

Abandoned boats at half mast

Abandoned boats plague our harbor, rivers, and creeks. They’re eyesores and they damage salt marsh and oyster bed habitat. Last year we worked on a few tweaks to South Carolina’s laws governing abandoned boats. Now local Representative Peter McCoy reintroduced a bill that will give local law enforcement more authority to take on the problem when the state fails or declines to act.

Bottom line: It’s a great idea and one we fully support! Now we need a few funding sources . . .

Opinion: from the Post and Courier’s Editorial Board last year “We have to do something about abandoned boats.”

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Lets get social for real

Likes, hearts, reactions, clicks, emails, scroll . . . blah, blah, blah. Let’s grab a beer and meet in the real world at a Drink for the CAWS event:

2/7 Ghost Monkey Brewery

3/14 Holy City Brewery with Southern Environmental Law Center

4/11 Cooper River Brewing Company

5/9 Munkle Brewing Company

6/13 Charles Towne Fermentory

Don’t miss out: add Drink for the CAWS to your calendar

For your eyeballs: come see Charleston Waterkeeper (and a bunch of great outdoor films) at MountainFilm in February.

THANK YOU to Blue Ion and Groundswell PR for hosting a screening of Patagonia’s film Blue Heart to benefit our work! Key take away: “You don’t need to be a Waterkeeper to take care of your favorite river. You just need to be a human with a voice.”

There’s always a lot happening at Charleston Waterkeeper! Don’t miss the fun. Make sure you stay up-to-date by following on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.