COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Sullivans Island

Eighty acres of vegetated dunes, wetland and beach

The Lowcountry Land Trust had only been in existence for a year and half when in January of 1988, citizens from the Town of Sullivans Island came for guidance in their effort to protect their accreted beach. The Land Trust staff and board knew the significance of this project and believed they could help the town create a permanent strategy for land preservation.

Sullivans Island is a small, residential island at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor. The accreted beach at Sullivans Island forms a near 80-acre stretch of vegetated dunes, wetlands and white sand beach, which provides unusual habitat and nesting grounds to a wide variety of wildlife species. For humans, the accreted beach provides the island with a unique natural area that buffers the residential area from the ocean. The citizens and town council of Sullivans Island recognized the imminent danger that development of the accreted beach posed to their community and sense of place, and took action to ensure the beach's permanent protection.

Conservation Cooperation Among Town, Citizens & The Land Trust

The citizens and town had the vision and motivation to protect the beachfront. What they needed was the technical assistance and tools necessary to get the job done. Enter the Land Trust. By early 1989, a conservation strategy was put into action. First, the Land Trust purchased the accreted beach from the town and placed restrictions in the deed protecting the property in its present, natural state. Then, the Land Trust deeded the restricted property immediately back to the town of Sullivans Island, so that it could retain fee simple ownership.