The City Magazine Since 1975

State of the Creek - August 2016

How Shem Creek fares in Mount Pleasant’s current population and development boom is a microcosm of growing pains affecting the Lowcountry
The Sewee tribe of Native Americans was first to live along this waterway’s shores and gave it the name “Shemee” (meaning unknown). Its people valued the same sheltered deep water and easy accessibility to the harbor that attracted the Englishmen who began settling on the creek in the 1670s.
“They say we’re a dying breed,” says fourth-generation shrimper Franklin Rector. “That’s nowhere near true. Every year there’s a new boat on the creek. What’s more, the boats aren’t run by a whole bunch of old people.
Kayaks, SUPs, pleasure boats, fishing and touring charters, and commercial fishing boats share the busy channel
Shem Creek’s natural tidal flow and marshlands have long provided a habitat for an array of marine plants, fish, shellfish, birds, and mammals. Only in recent decades has the relationship between creek and human morphed into one with injurious overtones.
Perhaps the most notable change that will soon affect the creek is the multistory office building being erected at Coleman Boulevard and Mill Street.