Staff Report for The Island Connection
It was a year of campaigning as local and state candidates were featured in exclusive interviews throughout the year. Winter gave way to another summer full of festivities and crowds. Hurricane season had mercy on us as our coast dodged two major storms with little more than flooding inconveniences.
The Island communities continue to be welcoming to visitors, generous to causes and protective of our unique and delicate ecosystems, as our look back at 2018 illustrates.
Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year from all of us at Lucky Dog Publishing.
Offshore drilling came back onto the SC Coast’s radar. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management opened phase two of the public comment period on January 8.
Kiawah wrapped up its two-phase dune renourishment project, which replenished 15,700 feet of dunes with 62,800 cubic yards of sand at a cost of $198,000. The Town also proposed an ordinance to tighten up on collecting tax payments from rental properties.
“Snowmageddon” offered the unusual opportunity for islanders to enjoy a snow day and build a snowman.
Charleston County School District announced that it will transition Edith L. Friarson Elementary School to a Montessori school beginning in August. The program started with 3,4 and 5 year olds and gives priority to students from Wadmalaw Island.
Kiawah Partners submitted a proposal to establish a road designed to cut between Duneside Dr. and Beachwalker Dr. The proposal was met with criticism and concerns for safety from residents.
Bohicket Marina held it’s 4th annual Backpack Buddies Best Chili Cookoff. Proceeds benefitted the two nonprofits on Kiawah and Seabrook that provide weekend meals for nearly 400 school children struggling with food insecurity.
The Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy held its “Green is the New Black” gala on March 18.
The annual Cars on Kiawah event April 21 featured over 275 cars spanning 100 years of automotive history. The event, presented by Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat, sponsored in part by the Town of Kiawah Island, raised money for the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic.
Big Brothers Big Sisters raised over $60,000 at its charity golf event held at Kiawah Island Club’s River Course.
On May 5 the Kiawah Women’s Foundation deployed its army of volunteers for the annual Food Truck Rodeo held at Freshfields. Prizes were raffled, food was eaten and funds were raised to help feed children of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands.
The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network began its one-year study on Seabrook area dolphins. Over 20 Seabrook residents signed up to volunteer with the effort to learn about and protect strand feeding dolphins.
The 21st Annual Kiawah Seabrook Disaster Awareness Day was held June 13 at the Kiawah Island Municipal Center. The co-sponsored event focused on hurricane preparedness and concluded with a wine reception.
The two former Kiawah employees charged with wire fraud pleaded guilty, beginning the end of the year-long saga.
The Town of Kiawah formally opposed DHEC’s proposed changes to jurisdictional lines, recommending that DHEC return the line to the existing 2009 demarcation.
Town of Kiawah announced significant changes to permit regulations making it easier for residents to maintain their properties.
On Aug. 5 Swim Across America held its 2nd Annual Charleston-Kiawah Island Open Water Swim. Participants joined Olympian Kristy Kowal to raise money to benefit cancer research.
The Water Wellness Mission held a Margaritas and Mulligans event on Aug. 14 to help raise funds to build critical need wells on Wadmalaw Island. The event took place at the Seabrook Island Racquet Club.
The Kiawah Sea Level Rise Committee presented their report to the Town Council at their Sept. 4 meeting. The purpose of the comprehensive report is to equip the community leaders to be proactive and not reactive to impending circumstances, and to protect property owners through future decision-making.
Kiawah Island Community Association held it’s 12th annual Dogtoberfest at the center of Freshfields Village.
Kiawah Island Mayor Craig Weaver declared the third week of October as Kiawah Native Plant Week. The Town introduced GrowNativeKiawah.com, a searchable database of flora that provides detailed info on growing and maintaining native plants.
KICA hosted the Lowcountry Art and Artisan Showcase in support of local craftspeople.
The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network gave its final report to Seabrook Town Council concluding that 1,252 visitors were educated about strand feeding dolphins, spending 320 hours on the beach. No harassment of dolphins was reported.
Seabrookers celebrated the 8th annual Indiana Day on Dec. 11.
Kiawah municipal elections took place Dec. 4 and welcomed new Town Councilmembers: Maryanne Connelly, Dan Prickett and Klaus Said, while welcoming back Mayor Craig Weaver and Councilmember Chris Widuch.