Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park expansion plans have community concerned

Updated: Jun. 13, 2019 at 6:41 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Changes may soon be coming to Mount Pleasant’s Waterfront Park pier even though some people are speaking up saying they don’t agree with the proposal.

Critics say the updates will take away what people love most about the area.

Plans for a 300-ft. pier extension, addition of eight boat docking spaces, and an expansion to the existing restaurant have been five years in the making for Mount Pleasant’s Waterfront Park.

Mount Pleasant Councilman Gary Santos has been one of a few members who has been an advocate for the project since the beginning. Santos says the goal is for Charleston County to have as much access to the water as possible and this is just another example of that initiative.

“They want more access to the water. I think if we can have people get on and off boats here, it will be a lot better,” Santos says.

Community members say these changes brings dangers to the wildlife living in these waters.

Community member Gerald Grenier says manatees, dolphins, and various types of fish are just a few of the creatures that can be found in the park’s waters. He says it would be a shame for the animals to be forced from their homes because boat docks are taking their space.

“If somebody doesn’t speak for the marine life, because they can’t speak for themselves, then who will?” Grenier says.

He says the charm of this park is the ability to see all the wildlife on any given day. But if the pier is allowed then the park will look like everywhere else along the coast instead of the beloved Lowcountry.

“Why would you leave one concrete jungle to come to another concrete jungle?” Grenier says.

Santos says they’ve considered how the docks will impact the animals and determined that there will be no impacts to them since this pier extension is just one more dock among the hundreds of docks in the area. He says the town has ultimately decided to move forward with the project and will be taking bids for construction soon.

Santos says he hopes this project will be completed by the end of 2019 but it could potentially take longer depending on construction and weather.

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