Charleston South Carolina Cruise Terminal Expansion Moves Forward

Charleston South Carolina Cruise Terminal Expansion Moves Forward
Charleston South Carolina Cruise Terminal Expansion Moves Forward
Union Pier Cruise Terminal
Union Pier Cruise Terminal

The new cruise ship terminal in Charleston, South Carolina has won the next round in a long battle (see video below)  to expand and modernize the cruise ship terminal.  The South Carolina Court of Appeals denied a request to rehear arguments in the case following its earlier decision that area neighborhood groups and environmentalists don’t have a legal right to stop state regulators from issuing a permit that would allow construction to proceed.

The court case is over a permit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control issued in 2012 allowing the port authority to place five additional clusters of support pilings beneath an existing warehouse. That’s where the maritime agency wants to build the new terminal. The pilings are needed to support three elevators and two escalators.

“After careful consideration of the petition for rehearing, the court is unable to discover that any material fact or principle of law has been either overlooked or disregarded, and hence, there is no basis for granting a rehearing,”

Dana Beach, executive director of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, said the group is “disappointed but undaunted” by the decision. He plans to take the issue to the Supreme Court.

War: The Port Authority vs South Carolina Coastal Conservation League

This is a battle the cruise industry has been part of for at least 8 years. The first video in the playlist below was published by  the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League on January 11, 2011. It paints the port authority as idiots who do not have the public good as their focus. Other videos in the playlist show how the Charleston waterfront and cruise industry bring jobs and business to the Charleston region.

The Port Authority

Jim Newsome

The port authority plans to open space in an adjacent warehouse where boarding passengers can wait while departing passengers leave the ship. It will modernize the terminal facility structure and bring it to a level most modern ports have been enjoying for years.

Founded in 1942, the South Carolina Ports Authority owns and operates public marine terminals at two port facilities. The South Carolina Ports Authority owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, as well as Inland Ports in Greer, South Carolina and Dillon, South Carolina.

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the State Ports Authority, said , “Cruise is an important segment of our maritime business, and we look forward to the day when we have a modern cruise terminal that reflects the beauty of Charleston on the north end of Union Pier and can make the remainder of the Union Pier property available for non-maritime redevelopment,”

Originally from Savannah, Newsome received a bachelor’s degree in Transportation and Logistics in 1976 and an MBA in Transportation and Logistics in 1977 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Mr. Newsome became President & CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) on September 1, 2009.  He was previously President of maritime company Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc, and was with Nedlloyd Lines from 1987 to 1997.

South Carolina Coastal Conservation League

Edward Dana Beach

Edward Dana Beach, 61, commonly known as Dana Beach,  is founder and  executive director of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (SCCCL).  According to his online bio, Beach has a degree in mathematics from Davidson College. Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. After working in New York City in finance, he moved to Charleston where he served as a legislative assistant to Republican Congressman Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Beach founded the SCCCL in 1989.

Beach is author of Deveaux: Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary, South Carolina and is well-known for his rants on the Charleston cruise industry aka Carnival Cruise Lines, City of Charleston’s transportation system, the half-cent sales tax increase for $2 billion in transportation projects and Charleston city council meetings.

328 East Bay Street Charleston
328 East Bay Street Charleston

The SCCCL is located a quarter mile from Union Pier at 328 East Bay Street in Charleston, according to organization 401c public records; also located here is the Ceres Foundation.

However, Beach’s private property which is a public registered LLC,  is located 32 miles away on Little Britton Road, nowhere near the cruise ship terminal and nowhere near a beach,  according to South Carolina corporation records.

We note, what is located directly behind the SCCCL offices on 328 East Bay Street are offices for Charleston Harbor Cruises, Charleston Adventures and Carnival Cruise Line agents. Charleston Harbor Cruises and Charleston Adventures are both owned by local businessman James Eastman who benefits from cruise ship passengers embarking from Charleston.

There were 224,105 passengers who visited Charleston by cruise ships in 2015.

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Video: Charleston South Carolina Port Playlist (5 videos)


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