CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The fight to save what remains of Gadsden Creek continues.
Local advocacy groups have appealed a judge’s decision to allow developer WestEdge Foundation to fill and cap the nearly four-acre tidal creek.
Members of “Friends of Gadsden Creek” and “Charleston Area Justice Ministry” protested Friday morning just blocks from Southeast Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) festivities. They invited expo attendees to join them in their calls for the City of Charleston to restore and revitalize the creek.
“When we talk about conservation and protecting wildlife, we must talk about Gadsden Creek,” said Lin Kuhl Joy, a member of both FOGC and CAJM. “The city continues dumping its sins, telling half-truths and lies about contamination, lack of funding, and the true impact of this development.”
In December, a judge ruled in favor of WestEdge, citing the “unique hurdle of a naturalized drainage ditch for a landfill that is now being contaminated by that landfill.”
Protestors said measures to prevent flooding were never taken by the city.
“The city could have easily answered the problem of tide water flooding long before now with simple solutions that they are already using in other parts of the city with higher income bracket,” said CAJM Flooding Steering Committee Member, Michelle Brandt.
The City of Charleston provided ABC News 4 with an Army Corps of Engineers permit from 2009, stating the Corps would not authorize proposed mitigation activities in this area because “the potential negative impacts associated with excavating a portion of a former landfill and restoring tidal flow to this area far outweighs the potential environmental benefits.”
Members of the Westside community agree action needs to be taken against flooding, but said they refuse to ignore deeper issues of gentrification.
“We know that whatever is developed in the future in the next few years, if the city moves forward, will lead to the displacement of scores and scores of black families,” said FOGC Co-Chair and Charleston Mayoral Candidate Mika Gadsden. “We’re asking the city to do right and save the Gadsden Creek.”
WestEdge said the short-term goal for the area is to provide flooding relief and protection from pollution and contamination, adding this appeal will only delay relief and force residents to suffer.
See original story here.