South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Pappa's Island is Preserved!
Posted: December 17, 2014

One of the last undeveloped islands within Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is now protected forever, thanks to SCELP's successful joint efforts with local and national conservation organizations.

This case involved a dock permit that is unusual and especially egregious due to its location. In particular, DHEC issued a permit to construct a dock from Papas Island, also known as Pappy's Island, which is a previously undeveloped 104-acre marsh island that is surrounded by the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The landowners also obtained a septic permit for the Island, indicating an intent to introduce unprecedented development into one of the most important undeveloped swaths of land in the State.

The Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge covers 66,287 acres of contiguous lands and waters between Georgetown and Charleston, encompassing water impoundments, creeks, bays, and barrier islands. In total, the Refuge covers 22 miles of undeveloped shoreline, part of the largest stretch of undeveloped shoreline on the entire east coast. Aside from a small cutout at McClellanville, the seaward side of the Intracoasal Waterway (“ICW”) serves as the Refuge’s border for the entire 22-mile stretch. Papas Island falls within this small excluded area. In short, Papas Island appears to be the only potentially-developable high ground seaward of the ICW for at least 22 miles. Papas Island is surrounded by the Refuge, and the proposed dock would be the only manmade structure on the seaward side of the ICW for the entire length of the Refuge.

Read more details about this case here.

Download available Pappa's Press Release