Conserving Land Defends Natural Resources
Until recently, we have placed value on growth and development while ignoring the inherent value of our natural ecosystems. From estuaries and black water rivers to bottomland hardwood and long-leaf pine forests, each Lowcountry ecosystem provides a value to society that ranges from food production and storm water filtration to wildlife habitat, scenic views and recreation. Now, these so called "passive uses" of the land are beginning to be measured in terms of economic value as well. In SC, the value of our natural resources is an estimated $29.1 billion.
- Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. South Carolina has more than 4.6 million acres of wetlands but the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that SC wetland areas decreased by 27% during the last century, resulting in a loss of more than 1.75 million acres of wetlands.