Friday, December 21, 2018 News · Press Releases

Administrative Law Judge Halts Development on Captain Sams Spit Pending an Appeal

by Diane Knich

Press Release


December 21, 2018


Amy E. Armstrong, Esquire
SC Environmental Law Project
[email protected] or (843) 527-0078

Caitie Forde-Smith
Coastal Conservation League
[email protected] or (252) 714-4790

Administrative Law Judge Halts Development on Captain Sams Spit Pending an Appeal

CHARLESTON, SC – After issuing a decision authorizing the construction of a road, steel sheetpile wall, and other infrastructure to facilitate a 50-house development on Captain Sams Spit on September 24, Administrative Law Judge Ralph King Anderson, III, agreed to halt construction at the request of the Coastal Conservation League through its attorneys at the South Carolina Environmental Law Project.

SCELP filed a motion to stay the Judge’s decision on September 25, one day after the decision was issued, but it was not until December 14 that he agreed to halt construction on the pristine and fragile barrier island spit. SCELP and the Conservation League told the Judge that construction would cause irreparable harm to Captain Sams Spit if he did not grant the motion for a stay.

SCELP and the Conservation League also asked the ALC to reconsider his decision, which he granted partially, issuing an Amended Order and a Reconsideration Order, all on December 14.  The groups intend to file an appeal of the ALC’s rulings, which are now due January 14, 2019.

“Fortunately the Judge made a decision that ensures protection for Captain Sams Spit, one of our state’s most significant and valuable resources, until an appellate court can determine if his decision to grant the permit was proper,” SCELP’s Executive Director Amy Armstrong said.  “We believe it was not, and that his decision should be reversed,” she added.

“We are encouraged by the court’s decision to momentarily halt the dangerous, irresponsible construction of a road and steel wall to Captain Sams Spit,” Coastal Conservation League Executive Director Laura Cantral said. “We’ve fought for this pristine stretch of beach and wildlife habitat for 10 years, and we will continue to do so until Captain Sams is protected from development.”

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The South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) is a nonprofit public interest law firm, dedicated to the protection of the South Carolina’s environment. Its mission is to protect the natural environment of South Carolina by providing legal services and advice to environmental organizations and concerned citizens and by improving the state’s system of environmental regulation.

The Coastal Conservation League is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the coastal resources of South Carolina. Its mission is to protect the state’s natural landscapes, abundant wildlife, clean water and quality of life. Since 1989, the Conservation League has carried out this mission by working with citizens, local government and the state legislature. Learn more and get involved at

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