Four recent environmental stories may not have a large impact if taken individually. However, read as a series, they raise broader concerns:
1. Beaufort Gazette reporter Zach Murdock’s article on new federal protections to protect sea turtles along Atlantic coast beaches.
2. Mr. Murdock’s article about an increase of great white sharks off the S.C. and Ga. coasts.
3. Sammy Fretwell’s July 19 article on the Obama administration approving oil exploration off the East Coast.
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4. Dawn Hinshaw’s July 20 article about low water levels in Colleton County on the Little Salkehatchie River.
Each story deserves discussion, but the larger story concerns South Carolina’s diverse environment. Have we taken our environmental resources for granted? Perhaps not been the stewards of the environment we should be? I believe that as sons and daughters of South Carolina, and I consider myself an adopted son, we have a duty to protect and manage our natural resources for the good of all and to leave the next generation a better environment than we inherited.
I am not an environmental zealot. Rather, I believe there should be an open dialog and debate free of vitriol and grandstanding. I also believe that the citizens who live in affected areas should have full access to information on all environmental issues affecting the state.
I would like to thank The State for the reporting on several environmental issues that I believe inform and educate the citizens and look forward to updates and commentary on them. Please keep up the good work.
Simon W. Koenig III