Settlement agreement will offset impacts of Charleston Harbor deepening

The Ports Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed increasing the depth of Charleston Harbor to 52 feet to accommodate the “Post-Panamax” class of container ships. (© iStock)

On behalf of the Coastal Conservation League, SELC recently negotiated a settlement agreement with the South Carolina State Ports Authority that will increase protection of the Cooper River and its watershed and offset the impacts of deepening Charleston Harbor.

The Ports Authority has agreed to establish a $5 million fund through the Lowcountry Open Land Trust for purchasing conservation tracts to help to improve water quality and ensure the preservation of freshwater wetlands. The Ports Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed increasing the depth of Charleston Harbor to 52 feet to accommodate the “Post-Panamax” class of container ships. Without these mitigation measures, the dredging could result in unacceptable losses of freshwater marshes and habitat for important recreational and commercial fish species.

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