We just learned that the South Carolina Supreme Court agreed to hear another one of our cases to stop development on Captains Sams Spit, a dynamic sand spit on the far end of Kiawah Island. This is great news!
Justices will soon consider the developers’ plans to build a 2,380-foot steel wall on the eroding stretch of beach leading out to the spit. This will be the fifth time the court will hear arguments on Captain Sams, and today’s decision indicates this issue remains a matter of significant public interest and that important legal principles are at stake.
Captain Sams is no place for 50 houses, a road, steel walls, bulkheads, or water and sewer lines.
For more than a decade, we have worked with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project to defend the spit. It is one of the last stretches of undeveloped coastline in the state, and it is a special place for people and wildlife. On its shore, diamondback terrapins nest, dolphins strand feed, and endangered birds overwinter.
The spit has dramatically changed in its lifetime and is vulnerable to the increasing impacts of climate change — more frequent and severe storms, sea level rise and flooding. For all these reasons and more, we will again ask Justices to protect the spit from development, once and for all.
In 2018, Justices unanimously sided with us and denied the developers’ request to build a half-mile-long wall on the spit’s sandy riverbanks. Still, we will need your help every step of the way. More permit requests and legal challenges remain to determine its ultimate fate.
For now, we prepare for another day in court.