My Turn: Beaufort County businesses could be in Jeopardy

Published 11:08 pm Saturday, March 9, 2013

By Jimmy Daniels

As business owners on Blounts Creek, we are concerned that if Martin Marietta Materials is permitted to discharge 12 million gallons or more of water, per day into the creek, all we have worked for and invested in will be harmed or come to an abrupt end.
Miss Bea Charters brings sightseers up the creek to enjoy all that Blounts Creek has to offer. Not only are the tourists able to enjoy the beautiful landscape, but they see wildlife that live in and around the water, such as otter, porpoise, eagles, osprey, pelicans, etc. These amazing creatures feed on the diverse fish that live in Blounts Creek.
Kat Scratch Fishing Charters is also based out of Blounts Creek. If the pH of the water is changed, as we fear it will be, they will no longer be able to bring fishermen into the creek to catch striper, trout, flounder and drum.
The majority of campers at Campground on Blounts Creek are fishermen and women who enjoy fishing in these waters. They are able to catch saltwater and freshwater fish in the same area. All enjoy the fact that they don’t have to own a boat to catch several species of fish right off the fishing pier. If this ceases, the campers may move to a different county, taking their tax dollars and money spent in Beaufort County with them.
Cotton Patch Landing & Marine opened their doors four years ago with the blessing of the neighborhood, but will be forced out of business with the killing of the creek. During the winter, we depend entirely on fishermen to keep our doors open. They come for trout, drum and stripers, as they make their seasonal run up the brackish waters of the creek.
None of us are against the Martin Marietta Materials’ mine coming into Beaufort County. We just want them to find a more beneficial use for the water that they want to discharge into the creek. Destroying the creek will not only hurt each of our businesses, but Beaufort County will also lose tourism and tax dollars, as well as jobs.

This column was written by Jimmy Daniels on behalf of Dan and Frances Bradley, owners of the campground on Blounts Creek, Capt. Bob Boulden, owner of Miss Bea Charters, and Capt. Larry Payne, owner of Kat Scratch Fishing Charters. Daniels and his wife Pam own Cotton Patch Landing & Marine.