Volunteers undertaking historic James Island oyster reef build
by The Press and Standard | June 10, 2019 1:39 pm
Spend a morning on the marsh and help restore the oyster beds of historic Mosquito Beach.
On Friday June 14, volunteers will work to place bags of recycled oyster shells on a stretch of tidal creek shoreline, building an oyster reef. Over time, new oysters will grow on these bags, turning them into vibrant living reefs that provide clean water, fish habitat and protection from storms and erosion.
“We’re excited about constructing our first community-based oyster reef in this area of the Lowcountry,” said Michael Hodges, biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). “Being able to get so many citizens and groups involved in habitat restoration is one of the drivers that helps us to accomplish the goals of our programs.”
Mosquito Beach sits on the southern side of Sol Legare Island, overlooking a scenic stretch of marsh and tidal creeks that feed into the nearby Stono River. Under segregation in the mid-nineteenth century, Charleston’s black residents and visitors were forbidden from accessing most of the area’s beaches. Mosquito Beach evolved into one of the few retreats where friends and families could flock for live music, good food, and vibrant nightlife. Today, the Sol Legare area is a quiet community with quintessentially Lowcountry views.
“I believe our human nature is to share a language,” said Preserve the Gullah’s Halo Quaponda. “We can only speak this language by the actions we take toward our habitat. Actively preserving our habitat is the universal form of speaking louder than words.”
SCDNR staff are pleased to partner with the Mosquito Beach community, Charleston Surfrider Chapter, and the South Carolina Aquarium for the morning of reef building and litter removal. The event is most appropriate for volunteers ages 10 and up. Please register in advance by signing up below.
WHAT: Oyster Reef Build and Litter Clean-Up
WHEN: Friday, June 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
WHERE: Mosquito Beach Road, James Island, South Carolina
Gloves, water, arm and eye protection, sunscreen, bug spray, and first aid will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle to reduce waste. Volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes (boots or old sneakers are recommended) and clothing that can get dirty and wet, as the team will be working in muddy conditions along the shoreline.
If you’d like to attend, please reserve a free ticket here.