By Meredith Blair and Michal Higdon

The fight continues to save what’s left of Gadsden Creek on the Charleston peninsula.

There has been a debate over this tidal creek, which activists say is important to the area’s Black community, for years.

The Charleston Area Justice Ministry hosted an event Thursday evening at Burke High School to gain additional support in their efforts to revitalize the creek.

A judge ruled in favor of the nonprofit WestEdge Foundation to fill and cap the creek in 2022, but that ruling is now up for appeal.

Organizers say the goal of Thursday’s meeting was to spread the word on this issue that many feel very passionate about and dig deeper into the science behind what could potentially happen if development on the creek is approved.

“Their [Gadsden Green residents] needs and their way of life is kind of being shoved to the side because there’s money to be made,” Charleston Area Justice Ministry volunteer Lisa Gertner said.

A developer believes paving over what’s left of the historic creek will be the solution to pollution and flooding, but those against development say it’ll lead to more problems.

“It’s already a heat island,” Charleston Area Justice Ministry member Ron Malcolm said. “It’s one of the hottest places on the peninsula, and to put more buildings and concrete with [the] reflection off the windows and the buildings, it’s just going to make it even more miserable for those people.”

The event saw support to save the creek from generations of Charleston residents.

“I think it’s very important to the communities who live there and also the ecosystem,” Ashley Hall student Rheagan Miller said. “I feel like we need to protect the creek to make sure they are not harmed.”

Gertner said the development will only decrease the quality of life for the residents who’ve been there for years.

“Eventually they’re going to be pushed out and it’s not right that they are being taken advantage of again,” Gertner said. “There’s a long history of people in that community being taken advantage of.”

The ministry said they want community members to make their voices heard by reaching out to city officials and sharing why they want to see Gadsden Creek protected.

Friends of Gadsden Creek filed the appeal against SCDHEC and the developer in Jan. 2023, and as of October, it’s set to head to the Supreme Court.

You can read the judge’s final order in the document below or click here if you have trouble viewing it.

View the original story here.