Supporters gather to back new cruise terminal

CHARLESTON, SC - About 100 supporters of South Carolina's growing cruise business are showing their support for the $37 million industry before a forum to discuss both sides of the contentious issue.

The crowd gathered on the College of Charleston campus Monday to hear from ports officials and other backers of the cruise business.

Some supporters held up signs reading, "Jobs, not Snobs."

Former College of Charleston President Alex Sanders said he doesn't have a stake in the debate, but said what makes a great city is that people get along. Sanders said discouraging cruises amounts to people living in the historic city trying to close it off to others.

Opponents are worried about increased traffic, noise and congestion from cruises. A small group stood to one side of the supporters, holding signs urging that there be stricter regulations on the industry.

Charleston School of Law student Ashley Tharp said she isn't against bringing cruises to Charleston, but she says she also wants to make sure the area's air and waters are protected.

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