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The Thing About Water

So, in our office there is always a lot of talk about water. Lately, it’s been about the rivers running dry, toxic dumps polluting and the threat of offshore drilling. We talk a lot about water. But I am not a scientist. Sometimes instead of aquifers and safe yields water talk means something else.

Like the quiet of paddling a kayak on a lake in the Upstate or sitting just close enough to the ocean to get the perfect amount of salt water on your feet on a lazy summer day. That is why protecting our waters is important to me. Whether you choose Otis Redding, Garth Brooks or Bruce Springsteen– you will hear them all crooning about the water, the rivers, and the tides-water was their metaphor for life, their refuge from troubled times, and “a place to rest their bones.” In South Carolina, we have thousands of visitors that come just to visit our beaches, rivers, lakes and creeks. When we focus on protecting our water, the talk often turns to economic growth and jobs.

As Senator McElveen said last week in our Senate briefing, “business and conservation are not mutually exclusive.” I love economic growth and jobs-I want to see my community, my city, and my state thrive. But did you know tourism supports nearly 79,000 jobs and provides $4.4 billion to our state’s economy?

What about those jobs? I don’t know about you but a vacation should not entail reading a book on sandy beaches next to oil refineries and the noise and pollution that come with those. I don’t think people will fill their coolers and pile onto offshore fishing boats when there is the risk of even a small spill leaking oil and gas into the water and fish they catch. I realize that some people do not talk or even think about water as much as we do here at CVSC but they, you, we all should. We are all in the same boat.



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