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Foundation Matters

HCF Continues to Refine Position on Army Corps’ Perimeter Protection Plan

Posted: May 19, 2020

On April 20th, the Army Corps released the “Tentatively Selected Plan” for structural protection of the Charleston Peninsula to reduce damages and loss caused by flooding during coastal storm events. The proposed protection system consists of a perimeter storm surge wall surrounding nearly 8 square miles of the Charleston Peninsula and a wave attenuating structure located 230 feet off the Battery Seawall. The Corps has also assessed the use of non-structural measures and buyouts for areas outside of the proposed wall, as well as permanent and mobile pump stations. The 60-day comment period for public input into the plan will close on June 19th.

As an organization dedicated to protecting Charleston’s historic resources, HCF feels strongly that we should consider every possible option for the long-term protection of Charleston from storm surge flooding and sea level rise. HCF is generally supportive of perimeter protection, if our concerns about design, aesthetics, and impacts to historic resources can be alleviated.

HCF has been working diligently to review the specifics and provide you with an analysis of the “Tentatively Selected Plan.” Below, we have categorized our analysis by subject area and provided our general questions, comments and/or opinions.

Please take a moment to consider HCF’s priorities for our comments to the Corps. The only way to improve the plan and develop a final plan that works for Charleston is through engagement in the public input process. We welcome and value your comments as we continue our in-depth analysis. It is important to note that there are comments that need to be asked of the Corps as it relates to the specifics of this Feasibility Study, but there are also broader questions that need to be directed at the city, such as:


Address Areas of the Peninsula Differently:

Quality of Life and Livability:

Design, Engineering and Aesthetics:

Historic and Cultural Resources:

Economic Impacts:

Temporary Construction Impacts:

Please share your comments with us below.

2 responses to “HCF Continues to Refine Position on Army Corps’ Perimeter Protection Plan”

  1. Joanie Lucas says:

    1. The Sea Wall has to be 6′ tall, as to accommodate future sea rises and hurricanes.
    Hurricane Hugo, Category 5, had a water level of 6′. I believe 3′ is a waste of money.

    2. STOP AND DESIST the building of apartment buildings on filled land, like Morrison Drive.
    This disrupts the natural flow of water into the marsh land (which is nature made).
    Therefore, the water is forced to go around the buildings, and floods surrounding neighborhoods.

  2. Cat W says:

    Something that should surely be considered here and seems to have been ignored—and that led to increased damage during Hurricane Katrina—is the effect this wall will have on the marshland. Will this wall ultimately lead to land loss in areas where it blocks the natural flow of water and sediment deposit? Many Army Corps projects tend to work as temporary solutions, but ultimately degrade the land and can make future disasters even more harmful.
    The Dutch dialogues were certainly important in understanding how to integrate flood mitigation into communities. I have also studied water management in the Netherlands and seen its successes firsthand. However, I hope HCF and others are also looking at examples of poor water management in order to avoid previous mistakes. (Search “Louisiana land loss” for myriad examples.) This seems like a very expensive band-aid that allows developers to continue to exploit a vulnerable landscape.

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