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Integrating Climate in Coastal Land Protection and Restoration: Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin (Winyah-Sewee) Conservation and Resiliency Planning

Project Summary

The third-largest estuarine drainage area in the United States lies along the northern coast of South Carolina. The habitats found here range from floodplain forest and freshwater wetlands — South Carolina’s largest — to beaches that support greater numbers of nesting loggerhead sea turtles than anywhere else but Florida. These wetlands and woodlands attract migratory birds, waterfowl and the federally endangered red cockaded woodpecker, as well as black bear, osprey and 59 species of reptiles and amphibians.

All this diversity is at risk due to sea level rise, saltwater intrusion and worsening erosion from strengthening storms. Models suggest that some beaches could be reduced by nearly half, and changes are already being observed in some coastal waterways. The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina (TNC SC) is working to save this habitat and its wildlife by implementing a policy of climate modeling, planning and adaptation.

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Spotlight - TNC SC

The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina

Location / size of service area

South Carolina

Acres protected

330,000

Total number of staff and/or board

22 staff and three office locations

Total number of supporters

7,000 members
27 active volunteers

Year established

1969

Website

nature.org/southcarolina

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Winyah Bay Reserve

Five rivers form a system that feeds critical estuarine habitats along the South Carolina coast.

Image source: TNC SC

 

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