Amidst the beauty of South Carolina's coastal landscapes, a delicate dance of life survives right under our noses. Here, among our pristine beaches and salt marshes, some of the state's most vulnerable bird species find their sanctuary. But this idyllic setting, cherished by both people and wildlife, is not without its challenges. Audubon South Carolina's Coastal Stewardship Program upholds the task of safeguarding these precious avian residents, facing the ever-present threat of human disturbance. In this year's report, we dive into the dedicated efforts of Audubon's Shorebird Stewards, who stand as the frontline of defense for coastal birds. With the resilience of the tides and the spirit of collaboration, these stewards educate, engage, and advocate for the protection of our feathered friends, ensuring that both humans and birds can coexist harmoniously along South Carolina's coastline.
Our hard-working volunteers are the life-blood of this program. Every year, in partnership with many private and public landowners, government agencies, and municipalities, Audubon trains and deploys hundreds of volunteers across the coast to protect nesting and resting beach birds with exotic names such as the Red Knot, Wilson's Plover, American Oystercatcher, Piping Plover, Least Tern, and others. This year, we improved the management of 12 different beach sites for coastal birds, covering approximately 40% of the state's suitable nesting habitat, directly impacting the success of hundreds of nesting birds. Students, teachers, locals, travelers, retirees, young professionals, biologists, and animal-lovers alike all came together to make this one of our best stewardship seasons yet.
Download the full report here to see site-by-site details, data for the entire 2023 season, volunteer quotes, and pages filled with amazing photos taken by our dedicated volunteers and staff!