Monday, December 18, 2023 Blog · News

TAKE ACTION: Speak up for the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge

by Lily Abromeit

As we all slow down and reflect during this holiday season, threats to our natural world remain constant. Today, we are writing to ask you to take a few minutes to submit a comment to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) requesting they offer the public a chance to raise concerns about a proposed sand mine. 

Request a public hearing

Moss Park Partners II, LLC has applied to mine nearly 5 acres of sand and clay under an Individual Permit on West Cox Ferry Road in Conway. This mine would be surrounded, and directly bordered by, the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge on three sides. The total depth to be mined is 20 feet, but we know the effects from mining run much deeper. This is yet another example of a mine on the edge of conservation land—lands that are supposed to be protected in perpetuity. 

The West Cox Ferry Rd mine is directly adjacent to and surrounded on three sides by the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. This location so close to the river and adjacent wetlands presents many concerns. Mining and associated activities could impact water quality, specifically increased polluted stormwater runoff and increased turbidity, reduce ecosystem services, and reduce flood mitigation potential. All residents, neighbors, and visitors to the park and refuge deserve the chance to speak and raise concerns to DHEC.

Unfortunately, external threats on the borders of our protected lands are a major threat and happening all too often. We have many questions about this proposed mine and think the public deserves the opportunity to raise concerns and call for special conditions given its location. The life of a mine can be upwards of 30 years or more. That is a long time to be on the border of public land that belongs to all of us. That is a long time to cause noise pollution, dust inhalation, and potential hydrological change that will have impacts on wildlife and people alike.

Ask the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to hold a public hearing to answer these important questions. 

Request a public hearing

Comments are due by December 29th. If you would like to draft your own comment, you can do so here  

We realize folks are busy with the holidays, but we can’t let this mining permit go unchallenged. Please speak up for the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, the wildlife, our parks, and our community!  

Reach out to Trapper Fowler if you have questions or concerns at [email protected].

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