Morris Island – Your Input Needed!


From: blmerrill@honorablepursuits.com


Gentlemen:


I encourage and ask that you please review the following email from Morris Island Coalition spokesman Blake Hallman. We at the MIC have always made our goal the complete preservation of Morris Island as pristine and unmolested as it is right this very moment. Well, the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission is now asking for input on which "Master Plan" the public supports. Naturally, all of them include some manner of development. They say it is all to provide a "means to provide public access." We already have public access (see Blake’s letter). Here are some other things to consider:


There is in all likelihood still unexploded shells all over Morris Island. The interior of the island has been private property limiting the danger of visitors being blown-up by 140+ year old ordinance.


Morris Island has never had any real archeological work done. We don’t really know what still might reside under it’s sands. All of their plans will increase visitor traffic to the island, and with it the risk of losses at the hands of relic hunters.


There are without question still bodies of Yankees and Rebels on the island. Do we really want thousands of people trampling over their graves every year?


How long would it take for vandals with nothing better to do than tear up the unsupervised kiosks and interpretation centers they want to build there?


The ecologically-minded have already said that any development will only to serve to disrupt the delicate ecosystem of the island. Surely there are many more reasons to object to any development of Morris Island. Read Blake’s email below and offer your input to the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission.


Thanks …


Brian Lee Merrill
Morris Island Coalition


—– Original Message —–


MIC Action alert


Dear Morris Island Coalition members and Friends,


Good afternoon!


The Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission is calling for citizen input regarding the future of Morris Island at their website, http://www.ccprc.com (click on “Battleground Parks, Master Plan, Public Survey & Comment Form”). Your input is needed.


The main issue is whether or not to allow docks on the island. It is the opinion of all of the historians, ecologists, and preservationists involved with the access planning for Morris Island that “meaningful public access” currently exists in the form of flat-bottom tour boats that visit the island almost daily. These boats accommodate approximately forty passengers, and have bathrooms and wheel chair accessibility. It is the opinion of the groups advising the process that an unsupervised dock would open the island to higher levels of human and pet visitation, leading to ecological and archeological damage.


The Ft. Sumter/Ft. Moultrie Trust passed a resolution against docks on the island on 3/11/2008:


“The Ft. Sumter/Ft. Moultrie Trust stands opposed to docks & building infrastructure on Cummings Point, Morris Island, South Carolina. We accept minimal infrastructure to include: board-walks, bathrooms, and kiosks, provided that they do not impact the view-shed of Fort Sumter National Monument.”


The trust’s perspective is that a dock will negatively impact the view-shed of Fort Sumter.


The South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust voted unanimously to oppose docks on the island. This trust has the perspective that an unsupervised dock will simply open the island’s fragile ecosystem to more damage from relic hunters, campers, trash, and unleashed dogs, as was pointed out in the ecological study done by Billy McCord at the Department of Natural Resources:


“The natural resources of Cummings Point and the remainder of Morris Island would undoubtedly benefit most if the island was managed exclusively as a natural resource reserve with restricted human access” (McCord, B. 2007).


Public opinion can play a large role in deciding the future of this historic and natural resource. Please take a moment to weigh in on this important issue. The deadline is April 15th.


I hope that this e-mail finds you all well.


Sincerely,


Blake Hallman
Spokesman,
Morris Island Coalition