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Murrells Inlet: After criticism, weekly fireworks start earlier

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Complaints about the noise from the weekly fireworks demonstrations in Murrells Inlet died down this week, but concern about the pollution from the shows is proving a bit more stubborn.

Jim Wilkie, a member of the advisory board of Murrells Inlet 2020, says the heavy metals from 10 scheduled fireworks shows this summer produced by Zambelli Fireworks and launched over the inlet from the end of the Veterans Pier will become permanent parts of the sediment.

Wilkie served on the board of the Murrells Inlet revitalization group and dedicates his time to improving water quality now.

“The food chain starts in the creek, the pluff mud and the grass,” Wilkie said Wednesday. “We’ve gotten a lot out of the creek, and we need to put something back into it.” (Wilkie has a letter to the editor in this issue.)

The Monday Night Lights display is sponsored by the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk’s six restaurants and their liquor distributor.

He said the Murrells Inlet 2020 board is divided over the fireworks issue. “I appreciate all the merchants do for 2020,” he said. “Their cooperation over the years has been phenomenal.”

Though noise complaints died down after the display was moved this week from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m., the fireworks explosions could still be heard for miles Monday, Wilkie said. Complaints about litter left on the pier by fireworks technicians apparently were heard. One witness said the pier was “spick-and-span” the next morning.

Wilkie said he supports the 2020 organization’s big July 4 fireworks show over the inlet, and it’s too late to start discussing issues about it this year. Murrells Inlet 2020 is planning a forum on fireworks pollution during the week of July 8, according to Sue Sledz, the executive director.

There will be no fireworks Monday night in light of Thursday’s bigger July 4 show. It will go off at 10 p.m.

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