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environmental groups question Sea Pines dredging plans




State and federal regulators and an S.C. environmental group have asked the U.S. Army Corps Engineers in Charleston to withhold approval of plans to dredge Sea Pines waterways on Hilton Head Island, arguing the project is fraught with questionable assumptions and misleading conclusions.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources,He has dried mushrooms all year and fresh mushrooms in season. "We also collect mushrooms from foragers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,An employee discovered a waste management truck smoking around 10:50 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, and traced the source to cargo smoldering inside the compactor. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the S.They removed the majority of the bolts but not the locking Wheel nut, that's why I managed to get so farC.Probably the most popular among foodies,button mushroom is known for being juicy and tasty, inexpensive and with a flavor that’s only “mildly mushroomy”. Environmental Law Project also assert that more environmentally friendly options have not been thoroughly explored.

The South Island Dredging Association, composed of boat-slip owners and some Sea Pines residents, applied Sept. 10 with the Army Corps for permits to dredge creeks and marinas in Sea Pines, including the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. About 300,000 cubic yards of silt,The first tin cans were heavy-weight containers that required ingenuity to open, using knives, chisels, or even stones. Not until about 50 years later, after can manufacturers started using thinner metal sheets, were any dedicated can openers developed. clay and sand would be pumped into open water near the mouth of Calibogue Sound.

The association says the waterways provide valuable recreation and tourism revenue to the island's economy. Harbour Town Yacht Basin is only 4 1/2 to 5 feet deep at an average low tide -- too shallow for large yachts and some commercial sightseeing and charter vessels. At nearby South Beach Marina, smaller pontoon and motor boats sit in mud at low tide.

OCEANOGRAPHER QUESTIONS MODELS

State and federal regulators halted a 2003 effort to deepen the waterways after a contractor was accused of improperly dumping dredge spoil into the sound. About 75 percent of the 140,000 cubic yards of material dredged wound up in the sound, according to regulators.

The spoil from the SIDA project would be dumped on about 56 acres of sandy bottom near Barrett Shoals, a popular site for anglers and a spot where the town gets sand for beach renourishment.

SIDA members say the dredge spoil -- sediment pulled from the bottom during dredging operations -- is unlikely to harm marine life or habitat. They have cited nearly 500 pages of studies by Charleston-based GEL Engineering, which was hired by SIDA.For mains, there is a choice of Wild Rice’s ‘Chinese Fish ‘n Chips’ (beer-battered ling cod, Asian Tartar Sauce, taro shoestring frites) or its ‘meaty’ Grilled king oyster mushroom (with cashew ricotta and polenta fries).

GEL principal Tom Hutto has said the dump site is desolate, with "low biological diversity," and that the tides would sweep the spoil out to sea.

But GEL used limited field measurements and incorrect tidal current calculations to establish its models, Coastal Carolina University oceanographer P. Ansley Wren contends.And in letters submitted to the Corps of Engineers during a public-comment period that ended last month, regulators and environmental groups assert material dumped in the sound could drift and harm water quality and marine life, including shrimp, flounder, cobia, Spanish mackerel and sharks.

DNR has asked the Corps to hire an independent expert to review the modeling.

ALTERNATIVES

All three agencies and the S.C. Environmental Law Project also object to SIDA's assertion that its plan to dredge hydraulically with inshore dumping is the "only feasible and practicable" solution.

After the problems in 2003, regulators set new requirements for monitoring the amount of sediment that overflows barges as they head to offshore dump sites. However, barge operators cannot guarantee spoil would not be spilled en route, according to the dredging association. Other sites in Sea Pines and on neighboring Daufuskie Island have been deemed unsuitable by GEL, and Calibogue Cay property owners last year denied a request from Harbour Town slip owners for one-time use of the community's disposal site, according to SIDA.Mechanical dredging is also more expensive and requires more careful handling of spoil, increasing the likelihood for spills and leaks, according to GEL. State regulations also deem hydraulic dredging the preferred method.