The science is easy to understand and long-proven.
“The clearing of land for sprawling suburban development is directly linked to the impaired waterways because without enough natural land cover left intact to serve its filtering function, stormwater carries sediment and pollutants across impervious surfaces and directly into the rivers.” (Schueller & Holland, 2000).
“With a few exceptions, the settlement pattern south of the Broad River has been comprised of conventional suburban sprawl: single-use, single-family detached subdivisions, strip-commercial, and auto-dominated thoroughfares which brings with it a high percentage of impervious surface.” (Schueller & Holland, 2000).
“If the greater Bluffton area is developed according to the approvals as they currently exist, impervious surface will exceed 20% in the May River watershed and edible May River oysters will be a thing of the past.” (Coastal Conservation League)
We are already over 10% and we add to the problem nearly every day. We can continue to grow, but we must conform to the simple science above.
“Over the past (two) decade(s), various stormwater management techniques have been employed in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff caused by impervious surface without altering the conventional suburban settlement pattern. These techniques include, but are not limited to: stormwater management ordinances, Best Management Practices, devices at the end of outfalls, and maintenance and repair of stormwater retention ponds. However, the current inventory of on-site safeguards does not allow us to ignore the ten-percent rule. The only aquatic systems that will retain the full range of species and ecological functions will be those where less than ten percent of the watershed is impervious.” (Schueller & Holland, 2000)