Coasts

Crab Bank Research

Completed research on Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary is summarized below.
Crab Bank as it appeared in 2018.
Crab Bank as it appeared in 2018.
Coasts

Crab Bank Research

Completed research on Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary is summarized below.

Crab Bank Economic Report Takeaways:

  • This research was conducted and written by Dr. Raymond J. Rhodes from the College of Charleston, and Dr. John C. Whitehead from Appalachian State University.
  • This report estimates the use and non-use values of the restored Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary. The authors conclude that there is substantial value generated by the restoration of Crab Bank.
  • The estimated annual economic contribution to the SC Tri-County economy for activities related to Crab Bank totals $5.18 million (in 2019 dollars). This includes outfitter ecotours, recreational fishing, shrimping, and paddle club activities.
  • The restoration of Crab Bank resulted in a significant increase in recreational use value for the area - bringing more money to the surrounding area.
  • The economic benefits of restoration far exceed the costs, making restoration an efficient use of money. After surveying nearby residents, the aggregate benefits value of a restored Crab Bank ranged from a minimum of $15 million to $60 million.
  • This study’s scope did not include the following socioeconomic benefits of Crab Bank, though they likely also exist:
    • Fostering local community links with their cultural and natural heritage,
    • Generally nurturing local, regional, and national support for funding conservation programs,
    • Providing a site for environmental education activities that advances localized conservation awareness,
    • Providing a site that largely reinforces positive social “connectivity” with the environment, and
    • Generally improving human health and well-being for active and passive users.
  • These economic benefits provide insight in to the potential benefits of completing similar restoration projects that benefit coastal birds in other areas of the coast.

Click here for the full economic report on Crab Bank.

Crab Bank in 2019 before restoration. Photo: Google

Crab Bank Engineering Report Takeaways:

  • This research was conducted and written by Water Environment Consultants and led by Matthew Goodrich, P.E.
  • The newly restored Crab Bank is providing protection to homes and businesses in the nearby community from wind, waves, and storm surge by buffering wave energy coming from the harbor.
  • Audubon South Carolina commissioned a report by Water Environment Consultants, which found there is a large reduction in wave height on the shoreline for the area behind Crab Bank. In other words, Crab Bank helps minimize storm impacts to this coastal area.
  • Crab Bank creates a large cost savings of about $1.6 million to structures that are sheltered by the island in an 10-year storm.
  • These types of islands cause the greatest reductions in wave energy and potential shoreline erosion during typical conditions.
  • In other areas of the coast with less stable shorelines and lower elevation homes, the wave reduction benefits of a bird-nesting island such as Crab Bank would be even greater - highlighting the need for projects like this to be replicated along other areas of the coast.

Click here for the full engineering report on Crab Bank.

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