Posted on August 11, 2015
It’s a start. A belated start, and only a small step toward the finish line, but a start.
With $2.4 million in federal funds recently made available to the
Experts say that area is among the worst along the ever more shallow 1,200-mile waterway. It has become a safety hazard as well as a navigational and economic problem.
Sand has built up in that part of the channel so much that it is only two feet deep at low tide.
That is a fraction of the 12-foot minimum prescribed by the federal government. It will not accommodate most boats, so many boaters — commercial and recreational — go offshore to avoid it. When they do that, boaters lose time and convenience.
And even after the stretch from
The shoaling should never have gotten this bad. The federal government is responsible for keeping the waterway navigable, and it has failed for years to do so adequately.
Indeed, a change in federal policy in 2001 has meant far less money for dredging the waterway.
The formula introduced that year determines which places to dredge based on only commercial traffic, not recreational. Both are economic engines and need to be recognized as such.
The Isle of Palms has warned boaters to use caution in the waterway, particularly at low tide. Unsuspecting pilots have run aground in shallow water and caused injuries.
Nevertheless, like deteriorating roads and bridges, it should be brought up to speed and then maintained regularly so that it doesn’t get to this dangerous point again.