State makes bid for 23 acres near Fort Johnson in conservation effort

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The state is looking to spend millions of dollars to try to protect a historic piece of land in Charleston from being developed.

As part of the state’s budget proposal, it submitted a bid of $23.25 million to buy 23 acres of land that currently houses the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy on Fort Johnson Road on James Island.

The area was once part of Fort Johnson itself, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have argued in favor of conserving it.

“This property is so important. It’s got history, of course it’s got ecological significance and environmental significance being right there on the water, and of course it ties in with some amazing educational resources that are out there,” Rep. Spencer Wetmore, a Charleston Democrat who represents the area, said. (The) DNR is back there, NOAA, College of Charleston Marine Lab.”

Lawmakers will consider the purchase as the House works through its budget proposal later this week.

In the short term, the land will be conserved. Wetmore said the public would be involved before any long-term decisions are made about its use.

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