The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has joined forces with our strategic web partner, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, and the South Carolina Marine Association, to ask for the cruising community’s help. It is vital that the Palmetto State’s US Congressional delegation be made aware of the importance of a readily navigable AICW to both the SC coastal economy, and to those of us who make the semi-annual migration north and south on the Waterway!
As has been announced repeatedly on the SSECN web site, and by way of several “Alerts,” there are two portions of the South Carolina AICW that need dredging NOW. If this effort is not undertaken SOON, there is the potential of having a major interruption of AICW cruising traffic. And, as I’ve said for years, if the Waterway becomes un-navigable in one place (South Carolina for example), then coastlines to the north and south (North Carolina or Florida, for example) will feel the effects just as readily as those on the immediately affected coastline.
One “Problem Stretch” lies just north of Charleston Harbor, were the AICW passes behind shallow Breach Inlet (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=101792 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120335), and the other is centered north of Beaufort, SC, where the Waterway traverses a man-made canal known as the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, between Rock Creek and the Coosaw River (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120036).
The US Army Corps of Engineers is very much aware of these problem stretches, and dredging these waters is their TOP priority. HOWEVER, we are informed that there is no money in the current fiscal year budget to allow the USACOE to carry out these much needed activities. The only solution is a “supplemental appropriation,” and that is where the help of the cruising community is sincerely needed!
So, please take a moment to consider this note from Captain Brad Pickel, Executive Director of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Associaton:
Dear AIWA Supporters and Members.
Last week, The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association was contacted by the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net regarding a severe shoaling area at the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (Mile Marker #177) and reported in detail at the following link: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918. The AIWA contacted the Charleston District of the Corps of Engineers and we were also told there are no funds available for dredging this year, and future years were questionable. As an association, we are familiar with other areas along the AICW that need dredging, but our AIWA Board views this as a safety issue that needs a plan for remediation and that plan is supplemental funding. We are contacting Senator Graham and Senator Scott and Representatives Sanford, Clyburn and Rice regarding this issue and also the shoaling at Breach Inlet. If you are a South Carolina Resident and would like to support the AIWA’s efforts, please send the following email below to your representative and senator. Please note that the contact forms are limited to South Carolina residents, but if non-residents are able to fax a letter to their office, the fax numbers can be found on the contact page. Thank you for your assistance.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association
Contact information for the SC Congressional Delegation, and a sample letter provided by the AIWA, can be found at: