CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Jan. 17, 2022) - With the support of dedicated chapters and members across the state, Audubon advocates for pragmatic public policies that not only help birds but also protect South Carolina’s clean air and water, iconic landscapes, and precious coastline—while supporting its $18 billion tourism, $23 billion forest, and $1.5 billion solar industries. In the year ahead, this includes the following policy priorities:
PROTECTING VITAL HABITAT FOR BIRDS AND BENEFITS TO COMMUNITIES
- Supporting the passage of the Conservation Enhancement Act (S.280), which will reinstate dedicated funding for the SC Conservation Bank to help achieve the goal of doubling protected land in state
- Supporting investments in land management and initiatives that enhance lands and waters already protected by state agencies
- Supporting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and other federal legislation that provides critical funding and mechanisms to protect and manage key wildlife habitat
SUPPORTING PRIORITY BIRD SPECIES
- Increasing transparency surrounding the commercial harvest of horseshoe crabs to ensure a healthy and sustainable population, which is a vital food source for the federally-threatened rufa red knot and other priority bird species
ENSURING A RESILIENT STATE
- Supporting funding for South Carolina’s Office of Resilience and implementation of recommendations from the statewide plan
- Prioritizing the use of natural infrastructure and strategic land conservation to mitigate the effects of storms and flooding at the local, state, and federal levels
- Supporting federal legislation, such as the expansion of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, to protect key coastal and marsh areas that provide resilience for both birds and communities
PROMOTING CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
- Encouraging investment in and adoption of natural climate solutions that increase carbon sequestration on South Carolina’s lands
- Promoting a clean energy transition to affordable and reliable renewables that minimizes adverse impacts to key bird habitat or climate strongholds
- Supporting efforts to integrate habitat into clean energy approaches, including promoting the adoption of DNR’s solar habitat guidelines
About Audubon South Carolina
Audubon South Carolina protects birds and the places they need, now and in the future, using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. We have nine local chapters and bird club partners, nearly 30,000 members spanning every county across the state, and two nature centers and sanctuaries. We work with partners, stakeholders, and communities to protect, restore, and steward South Carolina’s most important bird and wildlife habitat, which includes more than 30,000 acres of land that we own and manage using bird- and climate-friendly practices.
We conduct conservation work across the state, including expanding a network of Motus towers to collect critical bird migration data that allows us to use science to identify the areas most important to protect for birds. Our Healthy Forests program helps landowners realize the benefits of sustainable forestry through practices we use on our own lands. Efforts like this one not only help landowners generate income while creating vital habitat for birds, but also mitigate the damage of major storms and flooding for neighboring communities. We partner on large conservation projects, like the restoration of Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary which supported hundreds of nesting birds in its first season. Our nature centers and sanctuaries 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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