Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Coastal Initiative will receive $3 million in federal funds. Graham secured the funds in the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.
“South Carolina’s coastline is one of our most valuable resources,” said Graham. “We need to take steps toward preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the coastal community.”
The funds will go towards the acquisition of Palmetto Bluff, a 770-acre tract located on the New River in Beaufort County. The property is a part of the Palmetto Bluff Planned Unit Development (PUD) and consists of approximately 220 acres of prime development land as well as pristine wetlands and old historic rice fields.
The South Carolina Coastal Initiative is comprised of projects to preserve the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the South Carolina coast. Funds will be matched by state, local and private contributions.
“Preserving Palmetto Bluff is one of our highest priorities,” said Beaufort County Councilman Skeet Von Harten, Chairman of the Land Management Committee. “We are grateful to Senator Graham for his leadership in securing federal funding for this important coastal resource. Notwithstanding the numerous successes that we've had with the Critical Lands Program since the Trust for Public Land came on board, there are still some very critical needs that have to be met in Beaufort County. This federal funding will help us meet those needs.”
“With the help of our public partners and the vision of our community leaders in Beaufort County, we're beginning to see some spectacular results on the ground,” said Slade Gleaton, Trust for Public Land’s Project Manger. “We are ecstatic that this important federal funding is a step closer to reality. Thanks to Senator Graham for his leadership efforts which will go a long way toward protecting South Carolina’s natural and historic resources and putting Beaufort County's vision for a rich future within reach.”
The legislation has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and should be taken up by the full Senate in the next few weeks.