To the Contrary

Access to Morris Island

Morris Island will be purchased largely with public funds, so it's reasonable to assume that there will be some public access to the inhabited island south of Fort Sumter. But the extent to which access is accommodated should be determined by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, and only after completion of a study on how the island can best be used. ...

The island is a nationally important historical site, where black troops were first involved in a major battle. Many soldiers with the Massachusetts 54th were killed in a night-time assault of Battery Wagner and are buried on the island.

The island also is viewed as valuable habitat, particularly for birds. The county has zoned the property for conservation, which would allow only two dwellings on the island. Periodic plans for a resort on the island have been met with strong public opposition. ...

Determining access should not be a precondition to the island's sale. The PRC, should have the final say-so on that score after its study is complete, and after the appropriate public comment.

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