East Cooper Land Trust raising funds to preserve Shem Creek shrimp dock

Local News

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) — One of the few places shrimpers can dock their boats on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is up for sale, and some worry it may ultimately affect Charleston’s local seafood industry.

Cindy Tarvin runs Tarvin Seafood, Inc.out of the Wando Dock property selling local seafood to restaurants and those who stop in.

“This particular fish house is the only one that still operates like a traditional fish house between McClellanville and Cherry Point. So, it’s import to those of us that fish out of here,” Tarvin said.

Now, the Wando Dock property is up for sale, and the future of her business is murky.

 “There’s the potential any buyer would want to keep it to support the fishing community. I just don’t know whether that’s the case,” Tarvin said.

The fear is that a new owner may not allow shrimp boats to stay along the dock, and there are not many other spaces available. The boats may have to leave town.

East Cooper Land Trust is trying to purchase the property, but the group needs the money to do so.

“The land owners have every right to get every penny out of it that they have in it and that its worth, but we just need to find a way to raise that money so that we can compete with other people that maybe want to keep it for private use,” said East Cooper Land Trust’s Executive Director Catherine Main.

The Trust’s mission through this project is to preserve the character of the Mount Pleasant fishing industry.

“There are only 9 working waterfronts left in South Carolina and this is the largest,” said Main.

Anyone who wants to make a pledge and donate to the cause, you can do so on the East Cooper Land Trust website.

“If we really want to have access to local seafood here in our state, then we need support projects like this,” Main said.

Tarvin says she supports the trust’s mission to save the dock, she also wants people to know–she’s supportive of the family who currently owns it.

“I think it’s well understood that the dock is important to the fishing community. I think it’s also important to understand that it is privately owned and we are not at war with the owners. We want what’s best for them and best for us, as well,” she said.

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