Protecting Daniel Island's Shoreline

June 9, 2010

Living on the Carolina coast offers residents and visitors a wide range of activities along our shorelines and on our beaches. But there’s a growing need for eco-awareness: Our beautiful coastlines need attention and protection.

Keeping that in mind, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has recently started work on a new project on the shores of the Wando River on Daniel Island. With the help of residents and other volunteers, the organization hopes to repair 250 feet of eroding shoreline as part of the SCDNAR’s community restoration program, SCORE (South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement).

The area surrounding the project includes the site of a former “Freedmen’s Village,” a post-Civil War cluster of homes that belonged to former slaves. Daniel Island wasn’t involved in any military action, but it was home to African American soldiers, farmers and others directly affected by the war. The archeological remains found at the “Freedman’s Village” settlement are being compromised by the erosion.

little girl with oyster bags

A young volunteer works on oyster shell bags at the SCDNR’s Fort Johnson location.

SCORE will construct oyster reefs, made of shell-filled mesh bags, along the shoreline to create a habitat for crabs, fish and shrimp. As the reef continues to grow, it will create a seawall that will protect the shores from erosion.

The SCDNR hopes to have the site stocked with nearly 5,000 bags of oysters by the end of the summer with the help of volunteers and area businesses.

Blackbaud, an on-island software company, recently organized employees and their family members to volunteer at the site as part of their “Greenbaud” eco-focused employee volunteer group, creating more than 160 bags of fill for the reef.

Now the SCDNR is registering those who want to get involved. This Friday, June 11, the first group of volunteers will get to work, loading oyster bags and placing them on the new oyster reef. To learn more about the process, click HERE.

For a complete schedule of volunteer times, and to register or for more information, visit the SCORE website.