CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Jan. 11, 2022) - With the support of dedicated chapters and members across the state, Audubon advocates for pragmatic policies that not only help birds but also protect South Carolina’s air, water, iconic landscapes, and precious coastlines—while supporting its $24.4 billion tourism, $21 billion forest, and $2.4 billion solar industries. In the year ahead, this includes the following policy priorities:
PROTECTING VITAL HABITAT
- In addition to supporting the County Green Space Sales Tax (S.152) and increased funding for the SC Conservation Bank, we advocate for new and innovative funding mechanisms designed to significantly expand land protection in the state and enhancement of lands already protected for public use.
- Supporting investments in land management, including for the SC Forestry Commission.
- Encouraging legislative approval of the SC Department of Natural Resources’ proposed shorebird protections.
- Supporting commonsense regulatory and legislative measures that protect our state’s abundant natural resources, including our land, water, and coastline.
ENSURING A RESILIENT COASTLINE AND STATE
- Supporting the implementation and funding for South Carolina’s Office of Resilience programs.
- Prioritizing the use of natural infrastructure and strategic land conservation to mitigate the effects of storms and flooding in resilience planning and projects at the local, state, and federal levels.
- Protecting critical habitats, such as Bay Point Island, which provide protections and habitats for both birds and people.
- Upholding existing protections for vital shoreline habitat, like the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA).
REDUCING HARMFUL EMISSIONS
- Encouraging investment in and adoption of natural climate solutions, such as carbon sequestration, on South Carolina’s lands.
- Promoting a cleaner electric grid, access to affordable clean energy for residents and businesses, and working to expand electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the state.
About Audubon South Carolina
Audubon uses science, advocacy, education, and conservation to protect birds and the places they need in South Carolina, now and in the future. We have nine local chapters and bird club partners with 27,000 members spanning every county across the state, and more than 30,000 acres of land that we own, restore, or manage using climate-and bird-friendly forestry practices. Through our programs and initiatives, we strive to create healthy ecosystems and safe, inclusive access to the outdoors for the benefit of all people in South Carolina.
We lead on large conservation projects across the state, including the restoration of Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary in Charleston, and the My SC Woods program, which aims to help 15,000 Pee Dee landowners realize the benefits of the sustainable forestry practices we use on our own lands. Efforts like this one not only help landowners generate income while creating vital habitats for birds but also reduce harmful emissions and mitigate the damage of major storms and flooding for neighboring communities. We also operate two nature sanctuaries that provide critical habitat for birds, greenspace for the public, and are home to significant cultural history like Beidler Forest’s designation as an Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. People are the lifeblood of our work and we rely on our shorebird stewards and advocacy volunteers to ensure that South Carolina is the best place for birds and people alike.
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