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Mayor's Greeting- November 2021

Fri, 11/19/2021

Mayor Pat O'Neil

Dear Island Neighbors,

I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful time of the year on the Island. I can’t tell you how many Islanders have recently said to me, when I’m out “running” or on my bike, “This is why we’re here!”

A few items related to this time, and tides.

HOLIDAY PARK LIGHTING AND FIREWORKS!

Please come out to Stith Park on Friday, December 3rd, at 5:00 PM for our annual Holiday Park Lighting ceremony. The talented, award-winning Wando High School Chorus will perform some great timely music, and the ever-impressive holiday lights will be turned on for the first time this year.

And that will be immediately followed by...FIREWORKS!

Yep, fireworks in December. We again were unable to offer the customary fireworks show on Independence Day because of Covid concerns, but were able to reschedule it for this event. Hopefully we will have a crisp, clear Fall night which should make the show even more memorable than its usual summer version. (And no need to wait until after 8:30 for it to start, like we have to do in July!)

Please gather in the park, between the Bandstand and the orange fencing. You will recall that this holiday event formerly involved lots of lights on and around the fire station, but as you have seen, the station is undergoing a serious makeover. The new station will no doubt be sporting some new lights this time next year, but this year the lights will focus on the park even more than usual. Setting up and taking down the holiday lights each year is always an impressive feat by members of our Fire and Maintenance Departments, both under the leadership of Chief Anthony Stith. Please thank those folks when you see them.

Finally, Chief Stith has dropped this tantalizing hint: “We may have a surprise visit this year.”

Hmmmm...I wonder who??

PS: The parking lot behind Town Hall will not be available this night, so please plan accordingly. Hopefully it will be a great night for a stroll!

VERY LOCAL TIDE INFORMATION

You may have noticed a couple weeks ago that we had some mighty high tides.

Especially if you were able to catch a redfish in your back yard.

As we’ve come to learn, the tide PREDICTIONS found on tide tables, calendars or our preferred sources of weather info, are only that: predictions. They are based on the positions of the sun and moon relative to us earthlings.  As such, they can be calculated years in advance.

But what actually happens is often different from that, and influenced by more current and local weather conditions, especially wind direction, speed and duration. So, if you are curious about what’s actually happening tide-wise currently, those tables don’t give you the whole, local story.

For years there has been a very useful source of almost-real-time info from the NOAA monitoring station at Charleston harbor on ACTUAL tidal levels and a variety of meteorological factors: https://bit.ly/noaawaterlevels

But if you want some really, really local information on the current tide status here on the Island, we now have a resource for you. Through our relationship with the South Carolina Beach Advocates, a nonprofit association of the state’s beach communities, we are now a part of the Hohonu system of water level monitoring stations all along the SC coast and elsewhere.

Nicole Elko, PhD, Executive Director of the Beach Advocates group, helped create this opportunity through her networking with other interested groups. Thanks to some grant support and Dr. Elko’s donation of her professional services, we and several other SC beach communities were able to join this monitoring network at minimal cost.

Our water-level monitoring station is on the back of the Island near the Intracoastal Waterway, Cove Inlet and the boat landing.

You may find it interesting to check in on our Sullivan’s Island monitoring station. You’ll find info on the water levels here as of just a few minutes ago, updated every six minutes.

You’ll need to set up an account. Go to https://bit.ly/SITides It is very easy: name, email, and create a password. (And I’m not aware of getting any spam that seems related to them.)

And the information obtained from this station is not only interesting to us residents, it will help the Town in our efforts to try to manage flooding and drainage challenges...which of course are only growing in this era of sea level rise.

THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS

As I have previously expressed, I frequently catch myself taking the Island for granted in the course of day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

So it’s always healthy to remind myself of the abundant blessings we enjoy here: a wonderful small-town place with great neighbors; tremendous natural resources all around us with an amazing array of flora and fauna; a fascinating history that predates the founding of the country, with lots of historic resources throughout the Island. What’s not to like?

I am thankful for the size of our BIGGEST problems!

Happy Thanksgiving!

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil
Mayor
843 670 9266
Twitter: @oneilpm1
oneilp@sullivansisland.sc.gov