This extract, cherry picked from a recent Local Notice to Mariners, refers to the AICW Problem Stretch known as the Ashepoo – Coosaw. This man-made canal connects the AICW between Rock Creek and the Coosaw River.
Some two weeks ago, the SSECN posted an IMPORTANT “Navigation Alert” about severe shoaling at the northeastern end of the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff, near marker #177 (see /?p=119918). A little later, we also published reports by fellow cruisers that soundings had also deteriorated at the southwestern tip of the Cutoff (see /?p=120036).
Partnered with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association and the South Carolina Marine Association, we subsequently asked for the help of the cruising community in securing a “special appropriation” to have these waters dredged (see /?p=120893).
The official notice below confirms that dredging cannot take place here due to budgetary restrictions. Until and if the money is found to deepen this AICW Problem Stretch, either wait for high to mid-tide or see Tony Constant’s recommended alternate route: /?p=120938
South Carolina-AICW-Winyah Bay â€“ Charleston Harbor-Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff: Severe Shoaling
The ACOE of Charleston, South Carolina had just finished an official survey of the AICW from Charleston, SC to Beaufort. Two patches of severe shoaling exist; the first appearing at the northeastern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff near Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O LT 177 (LLNR 35195). The other area is at the southwestern tip of the Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O between Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O DBN 180 (LLNR 35195.3) and Ashepoo-Coosaw C/O DBN 185 (LLNR 35205.2). Further information can be found on the ACO Charleston website at http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/ The ACOE has no future plans for dredging due to budget restrictions. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution.
We just got the alert and request to contact our legislators with regard to the AICW shoaling problems in South Carolina. We live right on the AICW in Hilton Head, and frequently see the long dredge strings being towed back and forth between Florida and North Carolina. We’ll get their attention when shoaling is so bad that they can’t move their dredges to all those other places where they do dredge!
K. C. Moore, Jr.
And, messages like the one below are the result of not keeping up with AICW maintenance dredging:
We have decided to cancel our trip South this year for this very reason. Probably would have been our last since we are turning 70 this year. How sad to watch this wonderful waterway be ignored, when it means so much to so many.
It truly saddens me to see all thatâ€™s going on â€¦ or not going on â€¦ in our wonderful country.
Please keep up your good work of keeping people informed and, hopefully, safe !