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Saving the forest for the school

On Thursday, March 11, the Sullivan’s Islanders Group gathered at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School for the sixth presentation in their ongoing series directed to the promotion of island heritage and the protection of the island’s unique way of life. The presentation, given by coastal ecologist Billy McCord, was held shortly after the school’s PTA meeting. The pairing of the two events was significant in that McCord’s talk tied directly in with the school’s future plan of becoming a partial magnet school with an emphasis on marine and environmental science.

During his presentation, McCord talked about the incredible value of young maritime forests and how important they are from an ecological standpoint. As one of the two primary SC DNR participants in the development of a cooperative management plan between the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission for the undeveloped northeast end of Folly Beach and as a contributor to the officer DNR letter written to the Sullivan’s Island Town Council to express the Department’s opinion relative to the town’s Accreted Land Management Plan, McCord was well-versed on the island’s accreted land situation and was happy to discuss how best to protect this valuable natural resource. McCord also worked with the school last year to help update their nature trail and developed an interpretive brochure for the walk.

Past events held by the Sullivan’s Islanders Group include a lecture on air quality in Charleston and the barrier islands by Dana Beach of the Coastal Conservation League; a Loggerhead Turtle talk by Mary Pringle and the Island Turtle Team; a Sullivan’s Island Historic Tour with tour guide Roy Williams, author of “Images of America, Sullivan’s Island”; an accreted land walk with Dr. Richard Porcher; a land management talk with Dave Achey, director of land management for the Kiawah Island Community Association, and a “best practices” lecture by Karl Ohlandt, landscape ecologist for the Spring Island Trust.

For more information about the Sullivan’s Islanders Group, visit, or email Karen Coste ( or Larry Middaugh (

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