Two freshwater lakes and an 11-mile lagoon system – the second largest in the U.S. – meander through Palmetto Dunes with over 40 species of birds and fish.
One of the goals of the PDPOA and especially the Lagoon & Lake Advisory Group is striving to ensure that the water quality of our lagoon is maintained. Therefore, we test the water at various points to assess the salinity, oxygenation, and the level of fecal matter. The periodic lowering of the lagoon level helps us to improve these areas. We usually lower the lagoon once a month (unless a major storm comes or a need arises, such as the work on Bird Island) to enhance the water quality.
Whether you are a bird watcher, fisherman or boater, your continuing enjoyment requires maintenance of and vigilance over our waterways. Abundant bird life is an excellent indicator of our stewardship of the unique waterways of Palmetto Dunes.
Lagoons are for the pleasure and enjoyment of Palmetto Dunes Property owners. This 11-mile interconnected lagoon system may be used for boating and fishing. Pontoon boats and other small watercraft can be used so long as the propulsion systems are limited to hand powered or electric engines. The PDPOA reserves the right to raise and lower the water level in the lagoons as drainage requirements dictate.
COMMUNITY OBSERVATION DECKS, DOCKS, AND LAUNCHES
There are two community kayak/canoe launches. One is located on the west side of the bridge just after the North Gate on Mooring Buoy in the Mariners section of Palmetto Dunes; the second is located on the east side of St. George to the inside of the small island in the Inverness section of Palmetto Dunes. An observation/fishing deck is located just beyond the Queen’s Folly inbound bridge on the outside of the leisure path.
Swimming and the use of paddleboards is prohibited.
Electric boats must be registered with the PDPOA and are subject to size and height limitations promulgated by PDPOA from time to time.
The entire lagoon and freshwater lakes are no-wake zones. Care should be taken to keep engine throttles in the low position in order to preserve our shorelines.
Why Palmetto Dunes is a “No-Wake” Lagoon & Lake System
When an object like a boat moves through the water, it displaces the water creating waves, also known as a wake. The wake is caused by the boat hull pushing the water out of the way. Significant wake is defined as a wake with “white water” immediate to the vessel, in waves created by the hull moving through the water. This requires that all boaters properly regulate and vary their speed based upon boat weight and hull shape so as to minimize erosion of lake banks. Wakes accelerate shoreline erosion, resulting need for costly dredging of the lake bottom and potential lake bank repairs, and can cause damage to wildlife, other boats/kayaks and the people in them.
Because of this, boaters need to understand the impact of excessive wakes to the environment and to our community. The effects of erosion go beyond the loss of property, which includes individual homes’ shorelines as well as common areas that impact the berms, trails, and roads. Wakes lead to increased sedimentation in the lake, which means that expensive dredging will be needed sooner than through natural erosion.
So, what can boaters do to minimize wakes? The solution is simple: Slow down!
When you’re out boating, check your bow wake (wake coming off the front of your boat). If you see white water, you are creating an excessive or prohibited significant wake. Adjust the speed of your boat until your bow wake no longer has any white water, to reduce the effects of wake and wash. Doing so will ensure that you avoid the problems of accelerated shoreline erosion and damage to personal property.
COMMUNITY BOAT RAMP
The Palmetto Dunes community boat ramp is located on the south side of Queen’s Folly Road just beyond the inbound bridge. The boat ramp may only be used by owners of property in Leamington and Palmetto Dunes Resort. Guests, renters, and others are not allowed to use the boat ramp. Property owners must register their boat with the PDPOA and arrange for access to the boat ramp by contacting the PDPOA at 843-785-1120. The boat ramp is intended for launch and retrieval of boats permanently in the lagoon. Daily launches and retrievals are not allowed.
Property owners, guests, and renters are allowed to fish in the lagoon and lakes from boats, kayaks, or canoes from the launches and observation decks, and from land in the common areas of Palmetto Dunes and Leamington. Owners of property and their guests with direct access to the lagoon or lakes may also fish from their own property. Fishing from bridges is not allowed due to safety concerns. Fishing from golf course property is not permitted. All fishing is subject to the following requirements:
all people age 16 and older must possess a valid fishing license from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and abide by all state and local fishing regulations; all fishermen shall practice “catch and release” to preserve the fish population
commercial fishing by members or guests is prohibited.
Feeding or harassing of wildlife within or upon the lagoon and lake system or any other common property of PDPOA is prohibited.
Discharge, Release or Dumping. The discharge or release or dumping of any substance into the lagoon and lake system which might in any way impair its operation or water quality or endanger the health and welfare of the aquatic life therein is prohibited. Such substances include, without limitation, swimming pool and/or spa water or waste, fertilizers, pesticides, or chemicals; grass clippings; leaves; pine straw and/or other landscape bedding material.
TREES AND BUSHES
Property owners are responsible to keep bushes and trees from hanging into the lagoon and lake system and must remove any that fall therein.
DOCKS, RAMPS AND BULKHEADS
All docks, ramps and bulkheads shall be maintained in good repair to prevent any unsightly, unclean, unsafe or unkempt condition.
The Palmetto Dunes Property Owners Association takes very seriously its role in preserving and protecting the quality of our waterways. For more information regarding these Regulations and policies and procedures of the lagoon and lake system, reference is made to the Lagoon PP&G.
PROTECTING WATER QUALITY
Palmetto Dunes’ lagoons and lakes capture stormwater runoff from roads and yards. This allows sediment and pollutants to settle, moderates storm surge, and prevents flooding. The spillways and storm drains trap and treat runoff to protect water quality and they need to be free of obstructions like large trees and debris that impede the flow of water. It is important to prevent plants from growing over inlet pipes and outfalls.
It is important not only to keep the lagoon and lakes looking beautiful, but also to keep the water quality healthy for the fish and wildlife habitat.
There is a twenty (20) foot vegetative buffer on every waterfront property in Palmetto Dunes. This buffer protects our lagoon system by filtering fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants before entering the water.
Removal of any tree/shrub/vegetation from the buffer requires Town approval prior to being approved by the Palmetto Dunes ARB, and may require mitigation.
The following activities are prohibited in the wetland buffer without prior Town and ARB approval:
- Removal, excavation, or disturbance of the soil;
- Dumping or filling with any materials;
- Placement or replacement of any sod;
- Placement of any garden of any type (e.g., vegetable, fruit, ornamental);
- Placement of structures or other pervious or impervious surfaces (except pervious pedestrian walkways with Town and ARB approval); and
- Removal or destruction of trees, plants or grasses.