Study looking at adding trees to Charleston to help with flooding

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston planning department held a community meeting on Wednesday to gather public input on the draft recommendations from a study evaluating the city's use of urban trees as assets for storm water management.

Consultants with the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), the group conducting the study, presented their mapped data and findings, and requested public feedback on their draft recommendations, such as suggested code modifications and future canopy goals for the area.

"What they're also doing is looking at our existing land development codes,"  said the City of Charleston's Principal Planner Eric Schultz. "We have certain codes on the books today that require certain trees to be protected and a certain percentage of trees to be protected."

Schultz explained the study is looking at the entire code and then looking at means to figure out how we can better save trees.

"The goal is to offset storm water, help with water quality and just make a more livable community," Schultz added.

Officials say the study is looking at every area within the city limits which includes the Cainhoy peninsula, West Ashley, Johns Island, James Island and the peninsula downtown.

Information on the value of trees in helping communities comply with stormwater permits, reduce flooding, and meet surface water quality goals were also presented.

According to those involved with the study, you can view green infrastructure as anything other than pavement, buildings and rooftops.

The study is being funded by the USDA Forest Service and being conducted by a partnership with the City of Charleston, the South Carolina Forestry Commission and the Green Infrastructure Center.

The study is being conducted over an 18-month period.

It is set to be done by early Spring 2018.

Project information can be viewed here.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.