Please help to protect Gullah and Historic Properties from overreaching development in SC-


Please help to protect Gullah and Historic Properties from overreaching development in SC-

This petition made change with 3,539 supporters!

Georgia Renck started this petition to Zoning Administrator, Beaufort County, SC Hillary Austin

              ***THE  ZONING BOARD MEETING IS TODAY- 9/24***

                   PLEASE take a moment to OPPOSE a SAND MINE

                           being GRANTED construction rights

                      within the established HISTORIC DISTRICT

                            We NEED and WANT your support!

Join us by signing our petition which opposes a sand mine being put in the middle of the Historic District on Daufuskie Island.
  Historical and culturally important Gullah homes, buildings and the largest enslaved cemetery (which is still being used) on Daufuskie Island are in jeopardy by this proposed land use. 

  The crucial zoning board meeting is September 24th and we ask you to please sign to show that Gullah communities, their history, culture and landmarks deserve to be recognized, celebrated and preserved. 

  A local land developer is asking for a Special Uses Permit from Beaufort County which would allow him to create a 4.87 acre sand mine in the middle of the Historic District on Daufuskie Island. The Historic District is home to Gullah historic houses, buildings, landmarks as well as other residents who have made Daufuskie Island their home.  
 Impacted adjoining areas include multiple  National Registry recognized Gullah homes, the Oystering House and the largest enslaved cemetery on the island, MaryField Cemetery. (Which is still being used today for family burials.)

  Please sign our petition and stand with the Gullah to protect their history, culture and homes. We must all come together to make certain the Gullah community on Daufuskie Island is heard, appreciated and celebrated. 



To learn more specifics, please see below:


  Daufuskie Island is a five mile long sea island located off the coast of South Carolina.  This beautiful live oak and Spanish moss strewn island is home to locals and move-ins alike. But, the Gullah population is the heart of Daufuskie. The Gullah are the direct ancestors of the enslaved who were brought to the colonies specifically for their knowledge in crop planting and their labor. The enslaved cleared, planted and tended the indigo and Sea Island cotton crops which created great wealth for those who owned them.  

  In 1982, the National Register of Historic places placed the entire geographic island entity on its rolls.  The Historic District located on Daufuskie is where a concentration of Gullah homes stand under the live oaks, and buildings and locations critical to the Gullah culture are found nearby. The largest of the enslaved cemeteries on the island, MaryField Cemetery, is located within the Historic District, as well. This cemetery is still being used as loved ones come back to the island to be buried under the palmetto and wax myrtle just as their ancestors were laid to rest centuries ago. 

  There is no bridge which connects Daufuskie Island to the mainland. To come to Daufuskie, one must take a boat. And for this reason, time has moved slower here. Electricity didn’t come to the island until the 1950’s and phone service didn’t start until the 1970’s. As recently as  the 1980’s,  oxen pulled  carts along the dirt roads on the island  that connect the original Gullah homes, the church and school. Time seems to run a bit slower on the island and history is located all around you

  Currently, there is a developmental plan to place an almost 5 acre pond on land which adjoins and is close to several of the key historic properties on the island located within the Historic District. The developer has called this a lake, a sand mine, a beautification project. However, there are many who oppose this huge change to the heart of the Historic District.

  Yet, if this developer’s plan  is allowed  to proceed by the Beaufort County Zoning board, not only will an almost 5 acre plot of land be dug out to a depth of 12 to 20 feet; but also we fear the permanent changes to the land will be far more detrimental than any positives which could come from such a “beautification” project.

  There are existing historic Gullah homes located 100 feet or less from the edge of the proposed dig site. The Historic, newly restored  Oystering House is a mere 652 feet away and many more recently built homes and cottages will equally be impacted by this project.  And, the Historic MaryField Cemetery which overlooks the marsh  is located only  804 feet away from the proposed project. 

  The residents have been told to expect noise from the earth moving equipment, an ever present generator which will be removing water from the site, along with traffic on a newly created road encircling the project, a berm, and a chain link fence are just the beginning changes as specimen live oak trees will be cut down and native plants and habitat will be removed from the island forever.

   At the cessation of the project, if and when that occurs as there is no ending date on the developer’s proposed plan request, the up to 20 foot deep  pit will be allowed to fill with water and will be a lake. The developer has suggested turning this area into a public park along with selling the remaining land as lake front housing lots. There has been no mention of who would be responsible for maintaining this public park and no financial funding from the developer has been proposed at this time. Homeowners and concerned residents are also worried about alligators on the island relocating to the newly constructed lake and an influx of mosquitoes from the standing water. 

  As one can see, there are many areas of concern including the compromising of both Historically and culturally important locations, loss of specimen trees, plants and habitats, the general noise and construction disturbances along with the general environmental and ecological apprehensions which surround the impacts of such a high impact project located within the established Historic District.

  If you are so inclined, please sign our petition which is in support of requesting the Beaufort County Zoning Board’s upcoming decision to uphold the existing zoning and codes associated this important Historical and cultural land on Daufuskie Island and not to allow for such a land use modification as being requested by the developer.

   We strongly believe the Historic District on Daufuskie Island is important to all and should be kept as the special and culturally historic location that it is. We are strongly compelled to protect the island and the Gullah community from such damaging changes as the ones proposed by this act of development.

  If you are also able, please take a few moments and send an email on behalf of the opposition of the proposed project to the Zoning Administrator, Ms. Hillary Austin of Beaufort County, SC. Emails may be sent to

  Thank you-




This petition made change with 3,539 supporters!