Dewees Island has been in the news this week. On the front cover of Sunday’s paper, this article by Bo Peterson described the way we manage wetlands for bird habitat.
That’s why what’s happening on Dewees Island is critical and a harbinger for the Lowcountry coast. A community is getting hands-on with its wetlands, flooding and draining them for the critters that make the place a wildlife haven. More of those will be needed as the region develops.
For the entire article, click here.
And then on Monday, a followup article about a $3.3 million endowment given to Clemson University to pay for research and education on waterfowl and wetlands had this to say about Dewees Island:
Across the country, most bird species are declining due to factors like habitat and food source loss, human disturbance and predators, including domestic cats. Some 230 species are on a list of currently endangered or at-risk birds compiled by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. The list includes more than half of U.S. shorebirds.
Not so coincidentally, studies suggest their coastal wetlands habitats are disappearing at a rate of some 80,000 acres per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The science is just coming to terms with how to stem it. Conservation efforts are so new that a community restoration of wetlands on Dewees Island to manage them seasonally for a variety of species is considered a bellwether project.
A November count on the island came back with 3,017 birds of 65 species, including some 900 shorebirds.
We’re proud of the efforts to make the impoundment a healthier place for migrating birds and other wild creatures. Click here for some photos of otters that Claudia took last year. Below are other species found here: