Charleston County Voters Overwhelmingly Support Preservation of Morris Island

Public Opinion Poll Reveals That Seven Out of Ten Charleston County Voters

Support Preservation of Morris Island

Feb 24, 2005, 00:00 ET from Civil War Preservation Trust

    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
 endangered wildlife.
     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