Say YES! To Kiawah

During planning for the Kiawah Conservancy's vision of the Island in 2030, we identified specific areas as having high priority for preservation. One of these areas is the natural habitat that graces the entrance to the Island as you round the causeway and cross the Kiawah River approaching the security gate. Talk to just about anyone and you will hear that this approach, with its natural Lowcountry beauty, evokes a comforting sense of peace and tranquility and anticipation of good times ahead to spend with family and friends.

We are delighted that a unique opportunity for an agreement involving Kiawah Partners and the Kiawah Island Community Association will allow the Kiawah Conservancy to protect several critical habitat areas in perpetuity, instead of being developed. In addition, we are pleased to announce that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture have issued letters supporting the conservation of these areas.

By now you will have received information from KICA outlining the details of this proposal that will require your positive vote in order to be finalized. Below you will find information from the Conservancy that highlights the conservation and wildlife protection aspects of this initiative and why we believe that it will be beneficial for the Island’s preservation. You will also find a schedule of Conservation Conversations being held in the coming weeks. We invite you to join us at one or more of these information sessions have your questions answered by the Conservancy's staff and Trustees.

We urge you to study the information provided below, contact us with your questions, and say YES! to Kiawah.

  • permanently protecting over 700 acres of critical natural habitat
  • providing habitat for 15 federal and state listed species of concern
  • protecting critical dolphin strand feeding areas
  • preserving a Town of Kiawah Island “Important Bobcat Area,” providing critical daytime resting areas for bobcats
  • eliminating the risk of up to 25 Multi-family residential and/or commercial units
  • ensuring local stewardship of these conservation areas in perpetuity
  • ensuring the continuation of wildlife and habitat research in Kiawah’s salt marshes
  • protecting critical habitat areas on both sides of the Kiawah Island Parkway, within the Kiawah River Watershed
  • protecting an 8 acre hummock island on Bass Creek
  • having the option to purchase Rabbit North (6.20 acres of critical natural habitat) for further conservation impact and to eliminate the risk of up to 19 Multi-family residential and/or commercial units on this land

Proposed Conservation Acreage

  • Mingo North: 8.27 acres
  • Mingo South: 4.40 acres
  • Rabbit North: 6.20 acres (option to purchase)
  • Kiawah River Marsh: 700 acres

Existing Conservation Acreage

  • Briar’s Creek Marsh & Hummocks (Kiawah Conservancy): 138 acres
  • Beck Island (Kiawah Conservancy): 3 acres
  • Kiawah River / Andell Bluff Marshlands (Lowcountry Land Trust): 621 acres
  • Bryan Dairy (Lowcountry Land Trust): 852 acres
  • Palmetto Point (Lowcountry Land Trust): 150 acres

Conservation Value

These tidal salt marshes, hummock islands, and upland maritime forests provide vital wildlife habitat, including 15 United States Fish and Wildlife Service “At Risk Species” and “Focal Species,” and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources “Wildlife Action Plan Priority Species.” In addition to the benefits for wildlife, the protection of these lands preserves critical, rare and threatened habitats listed by the State of South Carolina, conserves greenspace and scenic view-sheds, further protects the water quality of the Kiawah River estuarine system, and allows for continued utilization of Kiawah’s tidal salt marsh environment for ecological research. The protection of these habitats provides an addition of significant conservation land to the Kiawah River corridor while also providing a catalyst for future land conservation projects along the river.

Join us at one of the following Conservation Conversations:

Kiawah Conservancy staff and Trustees will be in attendance during these information sessions to answer your questions regarding the proposed land trade and land conservation opportunity. Please register your attendance using the links above or contact us at 843-768-2029.

RESOURCES:

FAQ

Land Conservation FAQ's

Maps

Entrance, Marsh, and Hummocks: Conservation Areas
Mingo North and Mingo South: Conservation Areas and Rabbit North: Kiawah Conservancy Option to Purchase
East End Hummock (adjacent to Bass Creek): Conservation Area
Kiawah River Watershed

Conservation Value

Conservation Value: Proposed Conservation Areas and Option to Purchase

Letters of Support

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources