Wadmalaw Island

A rich agricultural and cultural legacy

Wadmalaw Island is an ecologically rich and culturally diverse sea island that supports a healthy agricultural land base, a strong Gullah community and modest development that, for the most part, respects the rural character of the island. For more than 20 years, the island has benefited from rural zoning that sets reasonable limits on small lot development—more than 70% of the island is zoned AG-15, requiring a 15-acre minimum subdivided lot.

The Land Trust's first easement on Wadmalaw Island was completed in 1989. Twenty-two years later, the Land Trust now protects 48 properties totaling more than 5,373 acres and comprising nearly 25% of the upland on the island. The majority of Wadmalaw Island is considered a "Resource Management Area" and "Rural Priority Area" within the Charleston County Comprehensive Greenbelt Plan. The Land Trust's protected Wadmalaw lands support the goals within the Comprehensive Plan and extend beyond the transitory zoning protection to permanent and lasting protection.