While COVID-19 has many people locked in their homes and locked out of government buildings, Beaufort County Planning staff proceeded with meetings regarding the destructionment project on Bay Point and reversed their decision concerning this project. As a result, it will next go before the Beaufort County Board of Zoning Appeals under the guise of it being called “ecotourism.”
The concept of “ecotourism” is often misunderstood and is exploited by the destructioneers and the travel industry as a marketing tool to promote tourism and resorts related to nature. By using the prefix, “eco”, companies hide the true nature of their developments. This is called “greenwashing.”
The Kentucky based destructioneers, Lucket & Farley, in conjunction with Six Senses, a division of InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns Holiday Inn and Candlewood among other mid to lower end brands, are doing this in order to build another exclusive resort at Bay Point near historic St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. This project continues to be OPPOSED by the native Gullah/Geechees and by numerous environmental organizations and earth rights activists.
Fifty houses, a restaurant, recreation facilities, septic tanks, disruption of rare migratory birds is NOT ecotourism and it can bring irreversible harm to Bay Point and have negative impacts on the continued sustainability of Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage on neighboring St. Helena Island.
Conserving the environment and improving the well being of local people are key ingredients to true ecotourism. The ownership group of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are definitely disrupting the well being of the local Gullah/Geechee population who has repeatedly spoken out against this and have had to obtain legal assistance.
They are also ignoring the over 11,000 people who have signed on to a petition against this project: http://chng.it/gcmmgqFq
They are now offering the community free workshops that they design which the community never asked for and more low paying service jobs where staff must use a ferry to get to work. Ask Gullah/Geechees from Daufuskie how this same scenario worked out for them if you can find them living on the mainland or other islands.
These motel and resort owners say they will minimize impact to the island and will build environmental awareness and respect which they want to do via a certification program that they will control and through a foundation that they will control. These two elements have been added to their proposal to make them appear to be working with the “locals” which does not usually mean “native Gullah/Geechees” in Beaufort County. That can also mean working with people that live in locations that have already gated out the native population.
The very nature of barrier islands is to shift and move. Building 50 housing units, two restaurants, a spa and fitness center, swimming pool and community building are going to do nothing to contribute to conserving the environment. Remember the cabins at Hunting Island washing away, look at the houses at Harbor Island in the ocean, and how many of us remember when the existing structure on Bay Point was hundreds of feet back in the woods? Now the tide washes under it on a regular basis much less during king tides and hurricanes.
WE NEED YOU to continue to stand up with us to oppose this destructioment!
1) PLEASE sign the petition to stop this destructionment and pass it on to others around the world:
Significant public pressure will play a huge role in making government see the folly in participating in the wanton destruction of this beautiful natural resource and continuing to contribute to adding to negative impacts on the sustainability and continuation of cultural heritage and the quality of life of the citizens of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.