Scaling Our Impact Through Advocacy and Policy

In addition to our on-the-ground conservation work, Audubon uses grassroots advocacy with elected officials to effect pragmatic, bipartisan policy change with the power to protect birds on a larger scale.

While Audubon South Carolina monitors and supports a broad set of conservation issues that affect our birds and our state, our primary legislative and conservation priorities today include pursuing a clean energy future for South Carolina, promoting resilience in flood-prone areas, bolstering funding for land protection and restoration, and promoting common-sense environmental regulations. 
In October, Audubon South Carolina Executive Director, Justin Stokes, joined Governor Henry McMaster, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, and other conservation partners for a bill signing ceremony to celebrate the passage of the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act. Audubon was proud to work closely with state legislators, including Senator Stephen Goldfinch, the original sponsor of the bill, as well as Senators Chip Campsen, Paul Campbell, Sandy Senn and Marlon Kimpson and House Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith and Representatives Leon Stavrinakis, Heather Crawford and Nathan Ballentine. Together, they ensured passage of the bill during a special session in September. Photo: Trip King

Program Highlight

Throughout the year, Audubon staff and members regularly engage local, state, and federal elected officials to advance pragmatic, bipartisan policies that protect the interests of birds and people. During the most recent two-year legislative session, Audubon worked closely with Gov. Henry McMaster, legislative leadership and conservation partners to ensure passage of the Disaster Relief and Resilience Act. Passed during a special legislative session in September, the bill includes funding and direction for comprehensive, statewide resiliency planning and preparation.

Audubon applauds the bill’s emphasis on nature-based solutions for flood mitigation, which is often the most cost-effective approach to protecting both vulnerable communities and wildlife habitat – in particular, its establishment of a revolving loan fund to aid in the voluntary relocation of homeowners saddled with repetitively flooded properties, while incentivizing the return of those flooded properties back to a natural state that can then in turn provide flood mitigation and wildlife habitat. We look forward to working with these same partners to secure and direct funding for these efforts and the important on-the-ground natural infrastructure projects they will support.  

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