Posted: September 23, 2021
View Historic Charleston Foundation’s webinar with the Army Corps project team and city leadership to help you understand what is in this updated report and what it means for Charleston. This webinar was presented on September 21, 2021.
On Friday, 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. Though there are questions still to be answered, the optimized plan represents drastic improvements over the April 2020 version. This is a massive, complex project and entails a lot to understand and unpack.
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)
The public has the opportunity to submit comments to the Corps during the 45-day comment period that concludes on October 25th. HCF’s webinar will help you get your questions answered so that you can submit informed comments to the Army Corps.
For more information on the study, please visit the Army Corps project website.