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Tours & Events

Flooding on Lockwood

Webinar: Unpacking the Army Corps Peninsula Seawall Final Report

September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Register

There is limited capacity for this webinar. Please log in early to reserve your spot in the live event. This webinar will also be recorded and uploaded to the blog section of the HCF website for viewing later.

On September 10th, the Army Corps of Engineers released the final draft report of the Peninsula Coastal Flood Risk Management Study and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The final draft report represents an “optimized” version of the tentatively selected peninsula seawall plan that the Army Corps initially released in April of 2020.

Highlights of the draft report include:
• Decreased cost estimate from $1.75 billion to $1.1 billion (65% of the cost paid by the federal government; 35% paid by the city)
• Increased benefit to cost ratio (BCR) from 2.2. to 10.2 — meaning that for every $1 dollar invested in the project, there is a $10.20 return on investment
• Elimination of the “wave attenuating structure” (rock jetty) from the Charleston Harbor
• Wall realignment from the marsh to the high ground along the western side of the peninsula
• Added living shorelines along the western side of the peninsula (oyster reefs and/or native vegetation)
• Decreased wetlands impacts from 111 acres to 35 acres
• Updated environmental justice study
• Added $50 million in aesthetic mitigation to ensure the seawall integrates with Charleston’s historic urban fabric
• Refined pump size and locations along the peninsula perimeter (5 permanent and 5 mobile pumps)
• Modeled storm surge impacts to off-peninsula communities (James Island, West Ashley, Mt. Pleasant, Daniel Island and North Charleston)

Though there are questions still to be answered, the optimized plan represents drastic improvements over the April 2020 version. While the city’s cost share may seem daunting at $385 million, it is important to note that the city would receive credit for real estate right-of-way required to make way for the project. The city and state already own much of that property, roughly $110 million worth, which could be applied to the city’s contribution and thereby significantly reduce the city’s capital contribution.

The public has the opportunity to submit comments to the Corps during the 45-day comment period that concludes on October 25th.

This is a massive, complex project and entails a lot to understand and unpack. That is where HCF plans to step in! On September 21 at 4:00 pm, HCF will again host a webinar with the Army Corps project team and city leadership to help you understand what is in this updated report, what it means for Charleston, and have your questions answered so that you can submit informed comments to the Army Corps. HCF’s Winslow Hastie and Cashion Drolet will be joined by the Army Crops project management team and City of Charleston Chief Resilience Officer Dale Morris for this hour-long session.

This event is free and will be held virtually through GoToMeeting. Register in advance here.

There is limited capacity for this webinar. Please log in early to reserve your spot in the live event. This webinar will also be recorded and uploaded to the blog section of the HCF website for viewing later.