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EDITORIAL

Listen up. It’s not just water.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about water.

Between the announcement by corporate coffee giant Starbucks that they will no longer use plastic straws because those straws harm the environment, to local chatter about new water systems in our rural areas, water quality – and water preservation – is critical. Just last week, we announced that the more than 10-year project to improve water quality in Smoaks is now underway.

The classic environmental conversation about water quality, and being a “friend” to the environment, is key in our local community. Around these parts, we do more than depend on water to drink. Out water systems provide our economy with key tourism dollars. Edisto Beach is a critical part of daily life for Colleton County, and not just for recreation. The Edisto River is also critical to our up-and-coming nature tourism business, as the river draws kayakers and tourists seeking a simpler approach to vacation. The Ashepoo and Combahee are also critical, keeping our entire local ennvironments pristine as part of the federally-recognized ACE Basin. Then, there’s Bennetts Point. This is a local boys’ paradise, keeping our local shrimping economy booming and our saltwater fishing culture alive and well.

From our pocketbooks to our scrapbooks, Colleton’s waterways and coastline access is engrained in who we are. With all of that said, our local leaders have traditionally done a very good job in being good stewards to our waterways. They have helped to fund beach renourishment, and they have helped to support and financially fund water expansion and water improvement for all county residents: Edisto Beach and Smoaks residents now have incoming cleaner drinking water systems, all thanks to new projects and county cooperation and funding.

These types of efforts take more than a thought or two. It requires action from each county leader. It requires cooperation from our councils and local leaders. And it requires a mindset that our environment matters. With so many faces coming into Colleton’s political arena, we need to make sure that our local residents understand how critical these issues are. And then this direct message needs to be sent loudly and clearly to those who hold power.

Therefore, this is us sending that message: Colleton’s waterways matter. We are proud of how our former leaders have voted and behaved in terms of protecting our waterways and in improving our drinking water systems. If you are new to our community’s political circuit, take a look at this editorial and keep doing what has worked. Vote to always protect and preserve our waterways.

And, if you have been a part of our elected leadership for some time, thank you for what you have done thus far. As you go forward, remember that our environment matters, and most everyone in Colleton thinks so.

Heather Walters (1372 Posts)