Category Archives: Recreational Activity
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Cyrus Buffum, the Charleston Waterkeeper, pulls a floating T.V. out of the Stono River on Sunday. Photo by: Persis Buffum.

Cyrus Buffum, the Charleston Waterkeeper, pulls a floating T.V. out of the Stono River on Sunday. Photo by: Persis Buffum.

Last week all television channels in the United States made the switch from analog to digital broadcasts.  Without a digital converter box, many older television sets became useless last Friday.

What does this have to do with water quality in Charleston?  Well…funny you should ask!  This weekend while patrolling the Stono River, I came across a floating object in the middle of the channel.  Only meters from water skiers and wakeboarders, the mysterious object definitely posed a navigational threat.

As I approached the object I realized it was a floating television.  After calling the navigational hazard into the Coast Guard I pulled the algae-ridden T.V. (no doubt an analog set) into The Lady C.  Now honestly, who throws a T.V. into the water?

Cape Romain Contractors prepare to remove an abandoned boat off the floor of Hobcaw Creek in Mount Pleasant, SC.  Photo by: Cyrus Buffum

Cape Romain Contractors prepare to remove an abandoned boat off the floor of Hobcaw Creek in Mount Pleasant, SC. Photo by: Cyrus Buffum

In an effort to clean up some of the abandoned boats littering Charleston’s waterways, the town of Mount Pleasant spearheaded the removal of several derelict vessels over the past few days.  Receiving $40,000 in grant money from the Department of Health and Environmental Control and contributing $10,000 of their own, the town contracted the job out to Cape Romain Contractors.

Some of the boats targeted in this cleanup effort have been abandoned for over a decade.  As a result, some have sunk to the pluff mud bottom that lies below.  The delicacy of these boats poses an especially high environmental threat to our waterways.  Rotting hulls, rusting engines and leaking tanks all lead to one thing… pollutants entering out waterways.

Today, while removing the last contracted boat out of Hobcaw Creek, Cape Romain Contractors deployed a boom around the parameter of the removal zone in order to catch and retain any potential contaminants that were released upon removal of the derelict vessel.  When it came time for removal, the vessel did not come up easily; workers had try several attempts before removing the bulk of the rotten boat.   Click here for more pictures from today’s removal.

Earlier this month, award-winning film-guru, Nate Mallard, came out with Charleston Waterkeeper to document the removal of 6 abandoned boats behind Folly Beach.  Nate was kind enough to put together a short clip from the day’s events…

Removal of boat number 4 by Salmons Dredging.  Photo: Joey Grob, Olive Productions

Removal of boat number 4 by Salmons Dredging. Photo: Joey Grob, Olive Productions

Charleston Waterkeeper was on the water all day to document the removal of six abandoned boats from Charleston’s waterways.  We caputured some incredible footage, photographs and stories, and we will be updating this post soon.  In the meantime, click the photograph above to check out some pictures from the day’s events (captured by Joey Grob of Olive Productions).

The City of Folly Beach has taken the initiative to be the first municipality in the Charleston area to take physical action against the many abandoned boats littering our shorelines, waterways and marshes.  With the help of a grant, the City of Folly Beach plans to remove up to 6 of the identified boats located behind Folly.

According to the city, a salvage company will begin staging the scene on Friday to prepare for the removal of some of these derelict vessels.  The actual removal process is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 6th.  Charleston Waterkeeper will be out on our patrol to document the activities.

Joey Grob of Olive Productions and I went out early yesterday morning to photograph some of the boats that are scheduled for removal.  Click the picture below to view a slideshow of the photographs taken yesterday…

Photo by Cyrus Buffum/Charleston Waterkeeper:  Two abandoned boats litter the waters of Charleston, behind Folly Beach

Photo by Cyrus Buffum/Charleston Waterkeeper: Two abandoned boats litter the waters of Charleston, behind Folly Beach

Charleston Waterkeeper recently published a GoogleMap that displays the location of abandoned boats throughout Charleston’s waterways.  Thanks to the public’s input, the map now has 41 abandoned boats identified throughout the Charleston region.  We are currently working with a small group of partners to launch a campaign that will address the abandoned boat issue on a “big picture” level versus a case by case, micro-level.  Stay tuned for more on that…

The abandoned boat issue has been getting a lot of face time lately.  Most recently, an article published in The New York Times features Charleston’s battle with these derelict boats.

Even our co-office-worker-friends at The Digitel have produced some press about our abandoned boat problem… Check out the article here.