By Carey Sullivan for The Island Eye News
At a ceremony in the Huyler House Community Center, Dewees Island was named by Audubon South Carolina’s Executive Director Sharon Richardson as one of only four recognized communities that demonstrate Climate-Resilient and Bird-Friendly Stewardship. In a statement, Audubon SC said, “ASC is committed to transforming our communities into places where birds flourish. People are at the heart of conservation solutions, and Audubon is aware of the capacity that the public holds for successful conservation efforts. Because of this, Audubon is launching a recognition program in South Carolina aimed at celebrating Climate-Resilient and Bird-Friendly Communities. Audubon’s recognition program focuses on the importance of native plants, birds and wildlife habitat, water, energy, waste, and outreach practices to create a resilient South Carolina.” Only four communities in South Carolina have met the criteria. This prestigious designation highlights one of the core values of Dewees Island: living in harmony with nature. The underlying goal of everything that happens on Dewees, from building homes to playing on the beach, is to minimize human impact on the environment.
When building homes on the island, native vegetation, landscape, and almost everything but the footprint of the home site remains natural. This strict adherence to a minimum impact design has left the island intact, wild, and flourishing with native plants and wildlife.
Additionally, Dewees Island hosts a number of other birdfriendly programs including Audubon Shorebird Stewards, Painted Bunting research, invasive species removal, habitat restoration and native pollinator plant installations. The work of the members of this community, the Dewees Island Conservancy, the Dewees Island Property Owners Association, along with their many other partners, including SCDNR, USFWS, and Ducks Unlimited, have successfully created a beautiful haven where both people and nature not only coexist but thrive in gentle harmony.
Dewees Island is a barrier island off the coast of Charleston, accessible only by private ferry, with about three miles of oceanfront access. Dewees is a nature preserve with a community of residents and owners who are dedicated to maintaining an environment where nature is the primary resident.