We measure, manage, improve, and advocate for the ecological health of Kiawah Island and its environs.
The Kiawah Conservancy implements programs to encourage and assist landowners in the protection of the unique, natural environment of Kiawah Island.
The Kiawah Conservancy benefits the community by:
- Enhancing quality of life,
- Fostering a long-term vision for land and habitat protection,
- Providing a credible voice for land conservation on Kiawah Island,
- Encouraging the preservation of natural habitat for native and migrating wildlife species, and
- Making a positive impact on the socioeconomic aspects of life for everyone in the area.
The Kiawah Conservancy envisions all citizens of and visitors to this area enjoying the natural habitat and unique beauty of Kiawah Island.
The Kiawah Conservancy is a chartered non-profit, Section 501(c)(3), grassroots organization that was established by Island residents in 1997, to preserve the natural habitat of Kiawah Island. The Conservancy has the capability to be a holder of land and conservation easements, and as such, it acts as a land trust. In this regard, the Kiawah Conservancy is a member of the Land Trust Alliance and has adopted and subscribes to the Land Trust Standards and Practices as a guide for its organization and operations. Since its inception in 1997, the Kiawah Conservancy has preserved 65 properties that total over 2,285 acres of pristine barrier island habitat.
On February 22, 2017, the Kiawah Conservancy achieved the national recognition of Land Trust Accreditation – joining a network of only 372 land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
As part of the accreditation application, the Kiawah Conservancy provided extensive documentation and underwent a comprehensive review by the the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. Receiving accreditation, signifies the Commission’s confidence that the Kiawah Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever, ensuring the natural habitats, wildlife, and beauty of these special places remain for the enjoyment of generations to come.
To read our full press release, go to Accreditation Press Release.
The Kiawah Conservancy’s preserved lands rest in Coastal South Carolina, a region composed of coastal uplands, marshes, barrier islands, beaches, rivers, and wetlands. Formed thousands of years ago by various geological processes, this land is the ancestral land of an alliance of indigenous tribes known as the Cusabo Peoples. The sub-tribes of the Cusabo include the Ashepoo, Combahee, Coosa, Edisto, Escamacu, Etiwan, Kiawah, Stono, Wando, and Wimbee tribes. The Kiawah Conservancy recognizes the Cusabo Peoples as the historic stewards of the land we preserve today.