More than 150 kayaks and paddleboards surround Crab Bank in Charleston Harbor in September 2018. Provided/ Adam Boozer

Crab Bank funding complete after WRDA 'promise' to fund all construction costs

A year ago, restoring the once-thriving rookery that was Crab Bank was simply a dream without a source of financial reality. Now, the once seabird sanctuary will soon return to a place for wings to flap thanks to some federal financial aid.

Coming down to the wire on its fundraising deadline, Crab Bank's league of coastal conservatives received confirmation before the New Year that funding for the renourishment project was complete.

The lofty goal of $1.4 million, which seemed unattainable and insurmountable to its constituents at times, was achieved by a late push from the U.S. Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). In the days leading up to Christmas, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) received the most timely gift of all in the form of a pilot program.

Early in 2018, the federal government announced a program under WRDA that would fund 10 projects supporting beneficial uses of dredged material. In March 2018, SCDNR submitted a proposal for this pilot program to cover 100 percent of the construction costs of restoring the Crab Bank. In late December, they were notified their proposal had been chosen as one of 10 successful pilot projects out of 95 applicants nationwide.

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