CLIENT ADVISORIES: SC Ports in Charleston, Greer and Dillon are operating normally for gates and vessels. Pandemic Emergency Management Plan – details here. Protocol for accepting guests at SC Ports HQ on September 8, 2020 – details here.
Cruise Operations Update – details here. Community Giving Application Deadline July 31, 2020 by 5 p.m. – apply here.
Coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, S.C. Ports Authority preserved 1,142 acres of the historic Fairlawn Plantation, a vitally important and diverse ecosystem in the Lowcountry. The Port partnered with the Open Space Institute to preserve this land, which is in the upper portion of the Wando River watershed.
This significant preservation effort fulfills an environmental commitment for the Charleston Harbor Deepening project and enables the land to become part of the Francis Marion National Forest.
“The preservation of Fairlawn will provide habitat benefits to threatened and endangered species — such as the frosted flatwoods salamander, gopher frog and red cockaded woodpecker — as well as restore longleaf pine forest and provide protection to a variety of native wetland plants,” S.C. Ports Authority’s Permitting Manager Mark Messersmith said. “S.C. Ports is proud to be a part of protecting this valuable habitat for generations to come.”
The property is also home to Mayrants Reserve, a 170-acre impoundment. Mayrants Reserve is designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. It is also the last known sighting of the Bachman’s warbler.
Restoration work is ongoing on the Fairlawn property; once completed, the entire parcel will be under the U.S. Forest Service’s management as part of the Francis Marion National Forest.
The Port’s preservation of Fairlawn Plantation is complemented by other companies’ efforts, such as Volvo Cars and Boeing Co., who also partnered to preserve the land for numerous species and future generations.
Preserving French Quarter, Hyde Park land
S.C. Ports Authority provided $5 million to the Lowcountry Land Trust to create a revolving fund for the purchase and permanent protection of important land within the Cooper River Corridor. Using this funding, the Lowcountry Land Trust purchased two important properties, protecting them from future development.
French Quarter Property
The first of these is the French Quarter property, a 425-acre parcel located along S.C. Highway 41 in Huger within the Cooper River Historic District. The preservation of the French Quarter property nurtures forested wetlands, improves water quality and provides wildlife habitat, all while preventing development on this important Lowcountry land.
Hyde Park Plantation
The second property is the 589-acre Hyde Park Plantation located in Berkeley County within the Cooper River Historic District. Hyde Park Plantation has substantial historical and ecological significance for the region. This significant preservation effort enhances water quality, preserves plant and wildlife, and helps ecosystems thrive, while preventing development on the site.
These significant preservation efforts fulfill an environmental commitment for the Charleston Harbor Deepening project, while ensuring these important swaths of land will be protected for future generations of South Carolinians.
Restoring Pee Dee wetlands
In partnership with the Pee Dee Land Trust and Open Space Institute, S.C. Ports Authority preserved 78 acres of land in Dillon County. The bottom land hardwood swamp is located in the Little Pee Dee River watershed near Inland Port Dillon, S.C. Ports’ rail-served inland operation near the North Carolina border.
The preservation efforts are aimed at improving the water quality and connectivity of the Little Pee Dee River and its wetlands.
SCPA restored the wetlands by adding culverts underneath a road, which enhanced the water flow between the wetlands on either side, improving the overall wetland habitat of that area. The wetlands are now a permanently protected, thriving ecosystem in the Pee Dee.
“The Port is pleased to be part of the Dillon community and contribute to important conservation efforts, in addition to economic development activities, of the Pee Dee region,” S.C. Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome said. “The protection of this property is reflective of the Port’s ongoing commitment to responsible environmental operations.”