Friday, January 3, 2014
The new chairman of Murrells Inlet 2020 is approaching his tenure with both eyes open.
Sean Bond, who officially takes over with the Jan. 8 meeting, says he looks upon the year ahead as an opportunity to increase involvement and inclusiveness, not only among the board members, but the public.
“The organization is going to grow,” he said recently. “We want to increase the chances for people to participate, whether they do so with money or with their time. We offer a number of ways to get involved — the Fall Haul and Spring Tide let people volunteer to keep the marsh clean, and there are a number of fundraisers during the year, including the upcoming Taste of the Inlet.”
Bond is no stranger to participating. With seven years on the board, he says he’s seen it grow in terms of financial support and new people becoming involved with the nonprofit.
“There are plenty of ways people can help,” he said, noting that the new structure for the group is going to help that.
“We’ve got a good mix of people on the board,” Bond said.
“But all of them care about the marsh.”
He said that the board will focus as always on protecting the marsh, and he acknowledged that the main goal will be educating the public about the marsh’s importance and how to protect the watershed.
On the agenda for an early meeting is the watershed plan, designed to protect the shellfish in the marsh area.
MI2020 and affiliated groups and individuals have been testing the waters around the marsh for contaminants in an effort to keep the shellfish in the inlet edible.
Bond, like many people involved with MI 2020 shares an abiding love for the marsh gained over his time spent on it. He moved here when he was 11.
“I am a local even if I’m not a native,” he said.
He earns his living with the Pirate Adventure boat that takes children and the young at heart on a voyage from its home mooring near Wicked Tuna across to near the Gulfstream Cafe and back during the summer.
“We’re always concerned with dredging, with keeping the waters open,” he said. Another concern is the look of Murrells Inlet’s entry points, and Bond said that MI 2020 has worked hard to keep its front yard — Business 17 — attractive with mowing — and backyard — the marsh — viable.
“There’s a lifestyle to the Inlet and the marsh,” he said.
“Some people enjoy it from their porch, others from the marsh. It’s whatever you choose it to be, but we want to keep that.”
He’s optimistic that some of the controversy that dogged the board during the past summer — fireworks and a reality show — are things of the past.
“We can look ahead to making this a great place to live and visit,” he said.