Abridged Environmental Committee Minutes – June 12

Tuesday June 12, 2018
SIPOA Conference Room

Tyler Collins from The Greenery updated us on their progress to date in 2018.

  • The pine straw installation has been completed island wide.
  • Summer flowers have been installed at the Admin building, Lake House, gate islands and community center pots.
  • All cold damaged plant material in various islands have been replaced.
  • Enhancements for various islands and medians have been approved and will be installed June 13 – 16.
  • All irrigated turf areas will receive a second application of fertilizer in the next 3 weeks.
  • All perennial plant material has had a preventative treatment of insecticide, as well as a fertilization drench.
  • Collection of yard waste by Priority One is going well.

Streets were swept for five weeks during the live oak downfall, more than 300 yards of debris was collected and did not end up in our sewer system. The Greenery checks all street drains to remove pine straw, mulch, etc. which collects over the drains within 24 hours of a heavy rain.

An overgrown Elaeagnus at the corner of Old Oak Walk and Loblolly has become a visual hazard. Steve Hirsch will send a crew to cut it back. Intersections and signs are checked periodically to remove impeding growth.

Selected sections of the SIPOA Comprehensive Plan 2018 which address island wide environmental concerns were discussed. The plan does recognize critical environmental issues such as climate change, sea level rise, flooding, etc. However, the role of developing mitigative strategies to address these concerns rests with other committees and it is not clear that the EC will be part of the planning process. Con Constandis will discuss with the SIPOA Board the concept of ensuring EC input into the planning process for these environmental issues.

BOEM has asked for public input regarding the proposed development of off shore wind energy. The original deadline, which was May 21, has been extended to July 5. BOEM is currently preparing an environmental assessment which to characterize the potential environmental impacts (adverse and beneficial) associated with the proposed action. The EC felt it would be appropriate for the Town of Seabrook Island to express approval of the concept of off shore wind energy development.

Barry Shedrow drafted the following proposed statement to send to the SIPOA Board for recommendation to the Town of Seabrook Island:

The Town of Seabrook Island favors the concept of offshore wind energy development providing there are not significant adverse environmental impacts associated with project construction, operation, and decommissioning. We look forward to reviewing the draft NEPA review of the potential environmental impacts associated with issuing commercial wind leases and conducting site assessments off of the South Carolina coast.

Barry Shedrow presented a fact sheet regarding the impacts of sea level rise on Seabrook Island. An area of significant concern is the resultant rise of the island’s water table. The could ultimately impact underground utilities (pipes, cables, etc) and the island’s biota (plants and animals). A rising water table would also reduce the soil’s capacity to absorb storm runoff, thereby increasing surface flooding.

The Dolphin Watch is in full swing. Volunteers spend 2 hours before and after day time low tide by the Kiawah River. There has been a lot of activity and generally people observing strand feeding are positive about the guidelines presented by the resident volunteers. Data is being reported on paper, however, Philip Miller is developing an app to collect this data and it can be sent directly to the DNR electronically.

There will be continued study on Mission Blue and potential benefits for Seabrook Island.

–Submitted by Lucy Hoover, EC Communications