Water

Watershed Conservation

Both birds and people need water that's safe for drinking, fishing, and swimming. Photo: Janine Edmondson

Want a clean river?  Try protecting the land around it.  A natural landscape automatically filters out industrial discharge, agricultural runoff, and other contaminants.  

Want an exceptionally clean river?  Try protecting an entire watershed. 

"Watershed-level conservation" is what we've been up to at Beidler Forest for more than 40 years.  We now own 18,000 acres, and we've helped neighbors safeguard an additional 25,000 acres.  That translates into protection for 30 miles of a 34-mile floodplain. 

The benefits, of course, flow downstream.  Clean Edisto River water helps keep the ACE Basin biologically vital, and also supplies clean drinking water to homes and businesses in the Charleston area.  Meanwhile, wetlands we're restoring at Beidler absorb excess water during storms, which prevents flooding downstream.  

Watershed-level conservation is a success at Beidler Forest.  At Silver Bluff, protection of our 3,300 acres fits into a larger effort involving multiple conservation groups, county and municipal utilities, and the whole Savannah River basin.  The beneficiaries there are more than a million people who depend on the mighty Savannah for their drinking water.  

PROJECT CONTACT:  Mike Dawson, mdawson@audubon.org.