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Catching crabs with baited bags on line. Crabs netted at surface and measured for keeper size on deck.

Crabbing and Fishing Pier Project Approved for South Carolina Oil Spill Restoration

December 2, 2019

Led by NOAA, federal and state Trustees released a final restoration plan and environmental assessment (PDF, 63 pages) for the Cooper River/M/V Everreach oil spill in Charleston, South Carolina. 

The plan includes a fishing and crabbing pier project that will improve and provide more fishing opportunities in the area. The project will be built at the Sol Legare boat landing on James Island, and is designed to make up for the loss of recreational fishing opportunities due to the 2002 oil spill.

The container ship M/V Everreach spilled around 12,500 gallons of oil into the Cooper River in Charleston. This spill oiled a wide range of habitat, including tidal flats, fringing marshes, intertidal oyster reefs, and sandy beaches. 

These habitats are important for multiple species of birds, fish, and invertebrates. A shellfish bed was temporarily closed, and there was a disruption to recreational shrimp baiting in the area. Docks, piers, and bulkheads were also impacted by the spill. 

The pier project is expected to begin implementation in 2020. Prior to this, more than 11 acres of salt marsh was restored at the site of the former Charleston Naval Base golf course along Noisette Creek in North Charleston. The project, included in a 2012 final restoration plan (PDF, 91 pages) restored tidal flow through berm breaches and excavation of a tidal creek network.

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