- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
The coast of South Carolina in particular is currently experiencing a double whammy, environmentally speaking: Not only are its distinctive wetlands extraordinarily sensitive to human interference, this is one of the most rapidly developing parts of the country. New and often-poorly planned subdivisions and resort communities are popping up all over the place. Vastly increased port activity, too, is taking a devastating toll on the salt marsh and surrounding barrier islands. Combine all that with the South’s often skeptical attitude towards environmental activism, and you have a recipe for potential ecological disaster.
Thankfully, there are some bright spots. More and more communities are seeing the value of responsible planning and not green-lighting every new development sight unseen. Land trusts and other conservation organizations are growing in size, number, funding, and influence. The large number of marine biologists in these areas at various research and educational institutions means there’s a wealth of education and talent available in advising local governments and citizens on how best to conserve the area’s natural beauty.
Hilton Head Island is a longtime trendsetter for sustainable development, going back to the insistence of its original residential developer, Charles Fraser, that the Sea Pines development interfere as little as possible with the island’s ecosystem. But in South Carolina the city of Charleston and Charleston County are leading the pack on environmental issues right now—perhaps because its wealth and comparatively large size mean it has so much more to lose if things go badly. Planners estimate the Charleston area will have to accommodate about 250,000 new residents over the next 25 years, and there’s a clear consensus locally that the time to act is now.
One concrete step Charleston County has taken is devoting part of a new transportation sales tax to its new comprehensive greenbelt plan to help responsibly guide the next 25 years of development there. It calls for at least $12 million to go to preserving rural greenspace and nearly $2 million to conserve remaining urban green space.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition