Jun 14 2018

Local Couple Preserves Beaches Through Business

By Mimi Wood, Staff Writer For The Island Eye News

The signage will appear on grocery carts at Harris Teeter.

Trina Limbach’s brain is like a turtle nest boil, idea after idea bubbling up, tumbling out almost faster than she can implement…the key word being ‘almost.’

Limbach packs a lot of energy into that tiny frame of hers. She has a knack for making things happen, often to the benefit of her neighbors on Isle of Palms.

Take for instance, her “Save Our Beach” campaign. Limbach and her husband Burke, along with their business partner Mason Hux, have undertaken an educational campaign of sorts, designed to enlighten seasonal visitors about beach preservation. “I went on IOP’s social media pages, and solicited suggestions from residents about what they’d like our guests to know,” she says.

Disregarding the numerous “Next time try Folly” comments, she translated the results of her informal survey into a friendly, easy-toread graphic that will soon appear on 60% of the buggies at Harris Teeter. Additionally, each set of rented chairs and umbrellas placed on the beach by the Isle of Palms Beach Chair Company is tagged with the same information.

Practicing what she preaches, Limbach is instructing her employees as well. “Our guys are out on the beach every day, from sun up ‘til sun down,” installing canvas umbrellas and wooden beach chairs for vacationers and stay-cationers alike. “We’re training our team to be ‘ambassadors’ for the island.”

Limbach’s “Save Our Beach” initiative stemmed from a single comment on social media last year. “One of our employees unwittingly left chairs in the dunes overnight. Of course we rectified the isolated incident, but it ate at me. I decided our guys should understand the ‘why’ of the protecting the dunes, instead of just issuing a reprimand.”

Consequently, Wednesday, May 30 found Limbach along with most of her crew in the DNR’s Outdoor Classroom on James Island, where Olivia Bueno and Jessica Tipton, Department of Natural Resources educators, provided detailed information on everything beach related, from the physical geography and structure of a barrier island, to why the dunes are critically important, to shore bird and turtle habitat, to shark migratory patterns, and, of course, plastic pollution. “I wanted our guys to be able to explain to visitors why they should stay off the dunes, keep their dogs at the shoreline, and be aware shore bird nests, camouflaged in the ‛wrack,’ the line of organic material and debris left by the high tide.”

Beach sweeps are next on Limbach’s agenda, she says, as is a nascent plan for adopting beach paths.

Some ideas she’s able to implement immediately, others involve government agencies, therefore taking a bit of time to evolve. With her passion for the beach and her drive to give back, there’s no doubt Limbach will make “it” happen.

“We are trying to minimize plastic and single-use beach chairs and umbrellas by offering a more sustainable product with our service. We’re out there everyday. It’s our responsibility,” she says emphatically.

The Isle of Palms Beach Chair Company may be reached at 843.670.1009 or online at iopbeachchair.com. A resident discount is offered with valid ID.

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