Whether it be for relocation, or simply for seasonal staycations, it's not only northern homo sapiens heading to warmer southern climes during the winter months. It's also our birds. Did you know our Arctic birds are flocking together in coastal migrations from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the ACE Basin? Subsequently, every year they teach their offspring the route back and forth between the Arctic and South Carolina.
The Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin (ACE Basin) is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Located primarily in Colleton, Charleston, and Beaufort counties in South Carolina, these rivers combine into the larger St. Helena Sound in the Lowcountry region.
The 350,000-acre region is known for its natural environment and the preservation of its marshes, wetlands, hardwood forests. Its riverine systems attract over 70 species of birds throughout the year.
It may not be fina?
While South Carolina welcomes the migrations of Tundra Swans, Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans and other coastal birds, this region is up against several threats.
Rising tides threaten South Carolinas' birds, and two-thirds of them are at increased risk of extinction as global temperatures rise.
Fossil fuel usage is looming as a deleterious omen for the entire coastline, including South Carolina. Offshore drilling would degrade and fragment the habitat for all species.
Oil spills are hazardous as well. If an oil spill reached lagoons at the edge of the coastal plain, it could jeopardize tens of thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl.
What can be done?
To help halt climate change and off-shore drilling, South Carolinians can address our U.S. Representatives (Jim Clyburn, [D-SC6]) with a request to protect our wilderness. Click here at Audubon, you can start the process.
With this federal alert, you can also share your concern on Facebook and Twitter.
In February 2020, a coastal conservation group locked in a first-of-its-kind deal that could prevent 628 areas in the ACE Basin from being developed into a factory, high-density housing or suburban strip mall.
If passed, conservationists believe it could serve as a model for the groups to protect other portions of ACE.
The Beaufort County Open Land Trust agreed to this unique deal last year. Conservationists in that county also wanted to make sure the land couldn’t be redeveloped for another commercial use. This portion of the region is home to a large number of bird species.
If interested, you can volunteer with any of the Ace Basin Taskforce initiatives, which include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Lowcountry Land Trust, Beaufort County Open Land Trust, Edisto Island Open Land Trust, Audubon South Carolina, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, East Edisto Conservancy, Open Space Institute, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, and private landowners.
You can learn more here about these organizations, at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Let’s join together to assist these conservation efforts on the coastal plain. And let's show our love for South Carolina and its permanent and migratory bird populations. Nothin' could be fina.
Primary Source: Audubon