Cherry Grove Dredging gets Boost

February 25, 2011

By Sammy Fretwell

The State


Plans to dredge canals in a well-known salt marsh at Cherry Grove got a boost from state legislators Thursday, despite concerns that the work could lead to wholesale marsh destruction on South Carolina's coast.

A House subcommittee voted for a bill to allow the dredging after hearing from the state's former chief judge, who owns a home on the salt marsh at Cherry Grove.

David Harwell, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, said canals dug decades ago are silting in and need to be excavated. But state regulators have not approved dredging the canals, so Horry County legislators introduced a bill to allow it.

Harwell said allowing dredging would improve property values for landowners. He said canals in the marsh have become so shallow they resemble mudholes.

"We are all sustaining pretty severe reductions in the values of our property,'' Harwell told the committee. "If we can get these canals properly maintained, it would probably increase the value of the property owners by a third.'' Read the full article