Staff Report for The Island Eye News
A year of campaigning kicked off in January 2018 as local candidates vied for Jimmy Carroll’s vacated IOP Council seat. Announcements were made throughout the year as local, state and federal mid-term elections ate up every media opportunity. Winter gave way to another summer full of festivities and crowds. Hurricane season had mercy on us as our coast dodged two major storms with little more than flooding inconveniences.
The Island communities continue to be welcoming to visitors, generous to causes and protective of our unique and delicate ecosystems, as our look back at 2018 illustrates.
Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year from all of us at Lucky Dog Publishing!
Offshore drilling came back onto the SC Coast’s radar. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management opened phase two of the public comment period on January 8. And Sullivan’s Island resident Rick Reed invited the community to consider the needs of those retirees wanting to age in place, as he proposed consideration of “The Village” movement.
Reports of a suspicious and potentially dangerous substance shook residents of I’on Ave. Sullivan’s Island Police Department secured the scene prior to visits from a dozen different state and federal agencies. The substance was determined to be non-hazardous.
Newly elected Mayor Jimmy Carroll held his first public forum on Feb. 1. Residents packed the IOP Rec Center to voice their concerns and suggestions to the incoming city administration. Over a dozen residents were turned away due to limited seating and a second forum was held on Feb. 8.
The IOP Exhange Club held it inaugural Pub Crawl, raising money for the waterfront improvement project that continued to be a focus of 2018.
Sullivan’s Island Town employee Kat Kenyon retired after 13 years in the business licensing department.
Mayor O’Neil helped Sullivan’s Island Elementary students celebrate Read Across America in style as “Pat in the Hat” entertained the young audiences.
IOP City Council started to tackle the coyote issue by agreeing a more aggressive approach may be necessary, even if it means utilizing professional hunters.
And the $11M beach renourishment project wrapped up at the north end of the island inside the Wild Dunes resort.
The 9th annual Run For Adela took place on April 21, to raise funds to provide scholarship for a Meeting Street Academy student to attend Charleston Day School for grades 6-8. The annual event commemorates the passing of young Adela Holmes Cook, who was killed in a golf cart accident while her family vacationed in the Bahamas. It is the only 5k in Charleston that takes place on the beach.
IOP unveiled its it’s year-round managed beach parking plan to mixed reactions from residents which included the idea of parallel parking and resident parking passes.
On May 10 the SC Aquarium held its first turtle release of 2018 at the Isle of Palms County Park. A crowd of 300 spectators saw Coral, a sub-adult Kemp’s ridley turtle head home after a brief stint in the aquarium’s rehab clinic.
The IOP Exchange Club announced the IOP Marina Festival, which was its largest fundraising effort in promoting the waterfront improvement project.
The 2nd Annual Maritime Expo took place on June 9 at Battery Gadsden Cultural Center the effort of a partnership between the BGCC, the National Park Service at Fort Moultrie and the Boathouse at the Coast Guard Complex. Over 300 people attended the event which featured nearly 40 boats.
The IOP Clean Up Crew kicked off its volunteer beach sweeps to raving success. Led by City Councilmember Susan Hill Smith, the clean ups became a social activity with a mission, that continued throughout the year.
Resident Rick Reed opened our eyes to the desperate need for action to support the Crab Bank restoration, an effort that is still underway.
Sullivan’s Island held another successful Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade and IOP’s final Managed Beach Parking Plan that went into effect.
The Wild Dunes Dolphins swim team wrapped up a successful season, placing 4th at league championships.
Governor Henry McMasters visited Isle of Palms for the ceremonial signing of the Beachfront Management Reform Act on Aug. 23. The act will help protect property owners by providing a transparent process for determining jurisdictional lines.
The Turtle Team uncovered a nest of 95 leatherback turtle eggs that did not have any embryonic development
Leatherbacks don’t typically nest on SC beaches and this was no exception. While disappointing, it was not surprising and Mary Pringle explained why.
Tidalwave Watersports held its first annual Residents’ Day fundraiser in support of MUSC Children’s Hospital.
The inaugural Holy City SwimJam took place on Sept. 8 at the Windjammer and raised dollars for Operation Restored Warrior, an organization established to meet the needs of our military who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Combat Related Stress.
IOP Clean up Crew held it’s final sweep of the season after Labor Day visitors left our beloved island. More than 75 volunteers participated at the regular clean ups.
The City of IOP celebrated staff at the first annual Employee Recognition Day. “Small but mighty,” is how Mayor Carroll described his dedicated group of City employees.
Sullivan’s Island passed it’s acclaimed plastics ban, ordinance 2018-06, and began to reinvestigate the maritime forest issue, that had been on hold since early 2016.
The IOP Exchange Club unveiled its detailed plans for the waterfront improvement project, which include a new bulkhead and dock along with landside improvements to create a park-like setting.
The nation acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the armistice to end World War 1 and local churches rang bells and offered prayers. Actors at Fort Moultrie answered questions about life as a soldier in the first World War.
The new parking signs were installed on IOP, making the rules official.
And Seabrook Island Club won the Three Island Challenge, the annual golf match held between Kiawah, Seabrook and Wild Dunes, clinching the title from defending team Wild Dunes.
Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms celebrated the holidays with traditional tree lightings, hot chocolate and visits from Santa.
Local resident and former IOP Council candidate Jonathan Gandolfo was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $1087 fine for cutting down two “historic” trees on a property he was considering for purchase. Much of the jail time was suspended.