Urgent: Save Gullah/Geechee small islands
From the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, 10 August 1999
We thank all of you that have made financial and spiritual contributions to our effort to "Save Our Small Islands." The Fish Fry event on August 7, 1999 was very successful. Over two hundred people came throughout the course of the day and there were many more that bought tickets that did not attend. Those who were in attendance had a chance to commune with one another and add more energy to the push to stop the Palm Island Homeowner's Association from building two vehicular bridges from the Eddings Point Community of St. Helena Island over to two (approximately ten acre islands) that they want to make into an exclusive hideaway.
The "Save Our Small Islands" effort began with a hearing February 23, 1999 when the Department of Environment Control and the Office of Coastal and Resource Management held a hearing on St. Helena Island. Islanders and those from town came out in mass with a resounding "NO" to this permit being given to the developers. The islands were originally called "Pritchard Island" and they have renamed them Palm Island I and II and call themselves a "homeowners association" although there is not one building built on the island!
In their request for development/building on the islands, they stated they would not have vehicles on the island. Thus, everyone laughed because we were there at the hearing because they had written that they wanted two "vehicular" bridges. We laughed at that, but this entire situation is extremely serious. Allowing them to build any additional bridges will not only ruin the scenery from St. Helena and we will no longer have access through this point in our waterway which people have been usings since Gullahs and Geechees were on the island, but it will also cause a great deal of environmental problems due to ecological imbalances.
The total needed for the legal fund for this effort has not been reached yet. Thus, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is still accepting donations on behalf of the fund. Simply make the check payable to the Coalition and write on the memo line "SOS Islands Fund." So far, the Coalition has been able to do a 1:1 match of the donations. Several members and supporters also attended the event on August 7th.
We are also asking that you take the time to send a letter to us and to the lawyer for this case (the hearing will be October 18, 1999), James S. Chandler, Jr. In the letter state that you are against the overturning of the denial of the permit for the building of vehicular bridges to Palm Island I and II. Let them know that you feel the decision that the Office of Coastal and Resource Management made by denying the permit early this year was the CORRECT decision given the historic and environmental signifigance of St. Helena Island and its surrounding area. Thus, you respectfully ask that the judge uphold the original decision.
You can send donations and hardcopy letters to us at:
Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition
Also, please e-mail Attorney James S Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc a copy of your letter to us at GullGeeCo@aol.com. EVERY LETTER, EVERY PENNY, and MOST OF ALL, EVERY PRAYER COUNTS!!!
Updates on the "Save Our Small Islands" activities will be posted at www.coax.net/people/lwf/si_alert.htm. You can also see more information about our on-going efforts at www.coax.net/people/lwf/gg_coal.htm
We thank you for your continued support in saving our Sea Islands and preserving Gullah and Geechee culture. Without our land, we do not exist. "Mus tek cyare de root fuh heal de tree."
Peace and progress,