Lowcountry conservationists unite to save Crab Bank Island near Shem Creek
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry conservationists are coming together in an effort to save the seabird sanctuary on Crab Bank.
It’s an island at the mouth of Shem Creek on the Charleston Harbor.
About 200 paddlers came out to show support including Congressman Mark Sanford.
“You had a bunch of folks come in this morning, a lot of different walks of life to say there is something special about the Tri-county area and the Lowcountry in the way that we look and feel as a community and it’s worth being proactive about protecting unique spots in the Lowcountry,” Sanford said.
Local groups including the Coastal Conservation League say restoring it is vital to the survival of at least 15 species of birds including brown pelicans, skimmers, terns and oystercatchers.
The nesting habitat continues to erode.
Owner and Operator of the Coastal Expeditions, Chris Crolley, was part of leading the effort on Sunday. He’s also the executive director of The Coastal Expeditions Foundation.
"2018 goes on record as the first year since anybody living can remember that no birds were able to nest on Crab Bank Island," Crolley said. "That's a huge loss for those shore birds."
A taskforce of conservation groups is trying to raise $1.5 million in matching funds by December.
Crolley says the restoration is expected cost more than $4 million.
A program through the Army Corps of Engineers will fund the remainder if the matching funds are met in time.
“There are only five bird nesting areas off the coast of South Carolina,” Crolley said. “South Carolina is responsible for most of the seabird and shorebird production.”
They would like to use the sand dredged from the Charleston Harbor deepening project to restore the bank.
If you’d like to donate to these efforts visit this link http://coastalexpeditions.com/crab-bank/,
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