CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A public opinion poll
commissioned by the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) reveals that
Charleston County voters overwhelmingly support preservation of historic
Morris Island. According to the poll, 71 percent of those surveyed advocate
protection of the barrier island, located just outside Charleston Harbor.
"The numbers speak for themselves -- Charleston County wants Morris Island
preserved," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "This poll makes it
abundantly clear that county voters recognize the importance of Morris Island,
as both a historic and a natural resource."
In the telephone survey, Charleston County voters were asked several
questions related to preservation of Morris Island. In every case, a majority
expressed strong support for protection of the island. Nearly two-thirds of
those questioned noted that they are personally interested in the Civil War
and historical events that occurred in Charleston. Sixty-nine percent stated
they were aware of the historic importance of Morris Island.
Likewise, respondents expressed a very negative view toward plans to
develop the Island. According to the survey, 77 percent of county voters
oppose plans by a Greenville, S.C. developer to rezone the island to allow for
construction of 20 luxury homes. Only 8 percent supported the development
In addition, 71 percent of those surveyed favored preservation of Morris
Island so it can never be developed. Seventy-seven percent stated that
Charleston County should vote to ban development on Morris Island. Only 13
percent expressed disapproval for such a ban.
Voters also recognized that Morris Island is a valuable environmental
habitat as well as a battlefield. Eighty percent of those polled said that
they support preservation of the island for its importance as a habitat for
The survey also confirmed that strong support exists for further
Charleston County involvement in preservation. Eight out of ten respondents
stated that the county has a responsibility to protect Morris Island and other
historic resources in the county. Seventy-seven percent of those polled
revealed that they would be more likely to support public officials who
advocate preservation of Morris Island.
"The poll results confirm what we already knew," noted Blake Hallman,
spokesperson for the Morris Island Coalition, a coalition of nonprofit groups
(including CWPT) that seeks to preserve the island battlefield.
"Charlestonians want Morris Island preserved for future generations. They
don't want to look out on the horizon and see houses on land where brave men
once fought and bled."
The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, Inc. from February 16-17,
2005. A total of 400 registered voters were interviewed countywide by
telephone. For verification or questions concerning methodology, contact Brad
Coker at (904) 261-2444. Margin of error is +/- 5 percentage points.
Morris Island, located just a few hundred yards from Fort Sumter, was the
scene of some of the most intense fighting of the Civil War. From its shores
the siege of Charleston was conducted for 19 bloody months. It was also here
that the charge of the famous African American regiment, the 54th
Massachusetts, occurred. The event was immortalized in the 1990 film Glory.
With 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield
preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve
our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of
these hallowed grounds.
(For the survey and results, visit
SOURCE Civil War Preservation Trust