Eat oysters and help lawyers fight for our area’s wild side

in Community by

If there is one thing most Beaufort County residents and visitors have in common, it’s the deep appreciation of the natural beauty that surrounds us. But preserving that beauty doesn’t come without a fight on occasion.

Over the years, we’ve fended off plans for a chemical plant, factories slated for the headwaters of waterways important to commercial and recreational fishers, offshore oil and gas exploration and dune-destroying development. Today, residents are trying to prevent beachfront manipulation at Seabrook Island, development of Captain Sam’s Spit at Kiawah Island, and the exploration for natural gas and oil off our coast.

Locally, a fledgling oyster nursery that employs local people is threatened by continually resurfacing plans for a jellyfish processing plant that would dump toxic effluent into our local waters.

It isn’t just picket signs and letters to local officials that keep these plans at bay. It’s lawyers from the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP). They know how to beat back these plans time and time again, appealing flawed permits in state and federal courts.

Unfortunately there is no corporate bankroll paying these expert lawyers. The Georgetown-based nonprofit has to rely on small grants and the goodwill of individuals who offer donations.

To help raise funds for both the preservation of our waterways and jobs, local volunteers have organized “an oyster feast that attendees won’t likely soon forget”, said SCELP board member Wendy Zara of Beaufort.

Join them from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18, at McCalley’s Creek. A $50 donation opens the door for you to enjoy oysters from Lady’s Island Oysters. Besides an oyster roast, oyster delicacies will be prepared by the best restaurants in Beaufort and Charleston, to include: Lady’s Island Oysters, The Ordinary, Fleets Landing Restaurant and Bar, Cypress, Old Bull Tavern, Saltus River Grill, Foolish Frog, Chechessee Creek Club, and Albany Grocery. Entertainment will be provided by The Bull Grapes.

Order your tickets at www.scelp.org/beaufort. Or help even more by becoming a Friend of SCELP. Your $300 donation includes two tickets and acknowledgment in the program.

Get your tickets online. Help the lawyers who work tirelessly for the wild side of South Carolina. You will be glad you did every time you look around your beautiful surroundings or partake of its rich bounty. For more information, contact Wendy Zara at 843-263-8946.