As part of a continuous effort to be transparent and keep the public informed, the Charleston District held its second public meeting for the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Feasibility Study on April 30. The purpose of this meeting was to release and discuss new information that has been discovered so far and explain to the public how far along the study has come.
The meeting was held in a similar format to the public scoping meeting in December 2011, featuring displays about the environmental, engineering and economic aspects of the study where members of the public could stop by and talk to project team members. The meeting also featured a presentation from District Commander Lt. Col. Ed Chamberlayne about the overall progress of the study, as well as provided numerous ways for the public to comment on the study.
New to the audience at this meeting were students from Wando High School’s inaugural marine biology classes who are studying Sullivan’s Island and the potential impact that Post 45 may have on the barrier island. This year’s classes have provided the high school with baseline data, including biological assessments of the island’s beach and near-shore environment, sediment layering and beach morphology. The information they are gathering is being analyzed and will be used for comparison data for future classes. The goal is for each year’s classes to build upon the previous classes’ work.
On May 3, in an effort to continuously promote science, technology, engineering and math to students, the District’s plan formulator, Colt Bowles, spent the day with the three classes providing them information on not only Post 45, but also the Corps’ history and their role in helping develop both the nation and South Carolina. The students had prepared a variety of questions for Bowles about the long-term effects of Post 45, how port business would be affected without dredging, how the economy and jobs would be affected, and what the harmful and helpful aspects of dredging would be.
Being transparent and engaging with the public through meetings and visiting classes, such as the ones at Wando High School, is one of the top points of the Charleston District’s mission. The Corps looks forward to continued interaction with Wando High School and seeing how the class’ project develops.