SCDNR, Corps of Engineers to begin construction for the Crab Bank Restoration Project

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Charleston District and SCDNR announced that construction has begun, starting with the restoration of the Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary in the Charleston Harbour.

The restoration project calls for the replacement of nearly 660,000 cubic yards of compatible material from the Charleston Harbour Deepening “Post 45” project. Upon completion, the project will generate almost 32 arches of prime nesting habitat above mean high water for coastal birds.

“The safety of our operations is of paramount importance for both the workers and the public,” says Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, Charleston District Commander. “We are excited for this important work to begin, but it is challenging, and we want it completed as safely and expeditiously as possible.

Boaters and paddlers in the Shem Creek and Mount Pleasant Old Village shoreline areas are advised to take extra precautions. There will be floating and submerged pipelines, and auxiliary equipment that is hazardous for those too close to the construction zone.

Also, residents may experience some “short-term inconvenience” due to loud, earthmoving equipment with bright lights and audible signals operating around the clock.

“Do not approach the contractor’s equipment, do not land your watercraft on the restored footprint, and please be hyperaware of submerged and floating pipelines, especially when there is poor visibility,” Johannes adds.

SCDNR began funding for the Crab Bank’s restoration in 2018. A majority of the project is funded through federal grants and contributions made by non-profit groups, businesses, and private citizens.

Construction is estimated to take approximately two months to complete.

“This project would not have been possible without the amazing community support and assistance from Audubon South Carolina, the Coastal Conservation League, and Coastal Expeditions, as well as all of the individual donors who contributed to this effort,” said SCDNR Director Robert Boyles. “Communication, fundraising and awareness have been key to the success that we hope to see this spring as birds return to the newly established footprint of Crab Bank.” 

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