Respect Seabrook Island’s Shorebirds & Habitat

In an extraordinary example of what can be accomplished in a positive collaborative effort by private and governmental interests, a new Seabrook Island beach brochure has been prepared and printed and will be shared with participants at SIB’s evening program on Wednesday March 28.  (Even if you haven’t been able to RSVP, there is still space, so please join us tonight!) Initiated and facilitated by Seabrook island Birders’ (SIB) Ed Konrad, this colorful educational pamphlet provides guidelines and reasons for preservation of shorebird habitat.  Contributions to the wording and layout were made by SIB Executive Committee members, as well as representatives of the SIPOA Environmental Committee, US Fish and Wildlife (USF&WL), SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Town of Seabrook Island Council.  These groups have all endorsed the brochure.  The cost has been supported by the Town, which has management responsibly for the beach area, and SIB.  Distribution will primarily be through the Town Hall, SI Club’s Amenity Office, Lake House, and those groups who offer property rental services.

As a support in launching this informational effort, SIB’s next members’ evening program (complete with refreshments and a raffle) will be on March 28th at 7:00 PM in The Lake House.  The event will feature Melissa Chaplin (USF&WL) and Janet Thibault (SC DNR), each of whom plus Felicia (?) (SC DNR) were involved in the brochure preparation, in an interactive discussion of our shorebird population and its habitat.  These individuals are regularly seen on the beach monitoring those birds— particularly the Piping Plover and Red Knot.  They also are responsible for placing and maintaining the seasonal signage which defines the nesting area of our North Beach.  It is important to recall that one of the key items which will be considered in any future applications for inlet relocation, as was done recently with the cut, will be the success in protecting shorebird habitat.

While the words of the brochure are important, it will ultimately be the positive stewardship actions of the persons who walk the beach as to whether our migratory and resident shorebird populations survive.  The opportunity to see and interact with wildlife and our beautiful beaches are generally acknowledged as primary attractors for visitors to Seabrook.   Visitors become buyers.  It is our responsibility to assure continued wildlife presence.

Submitted by George Haskins