Inside look at the new Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary near Shem Creek

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 2:12 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 8:20 PM EDT
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MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they are several weeks into the process of reconstructing a seabird sanctuary island near Shem Creek.

Officials said the Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary will create 32 acres of critical nesting habitats for several different types of shorebirds.

According to officials, the Crab Bank was once home to thousands of nests for brown pelicans, royal terns, sandwich terns, and other birds, but decades of erosion and damage from Hurricane Irma essentially destroyed it.

Officials said the project will have economic benefits, as many tourists come visit the island or take tours around it.

They told us there are many ecological and environmental benefits, too.

“Shorebirds and seabirds, our numbers of nesting are declining each year,” said Janet Thibault, a wildlife biologist for SCDNR. “Having places for them to have refuge is really important. Hopefully it’ll be up and ready to go for next spring when the birds come back and find mates and build nests. So, I’m just really excited to see this happening.

According to a release from SCDNR, they expect work on the project to last for at least the next two months.

The release states it is crucial boaters and paddlers near Shem Creek and the Mount Pleasant Old Village shoreline are extra cautious because of the construction, equipment and floating and submerged pipelines.

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