Why should I hire a pest control specialist? I can just kill the bugs myself.

Pest Control in Seabrook Island, SC

Imagine this: You're sitting in your living room enjoying a nice evening with your family when your sweet tooth strikes, and you get up to go to the kitchen. You just purchased a brand-new pint of your favorite ice cream, and it's ready and waiting for you to dig in. You take it out of the freezer, open the lid, and look down at the cold, creamy treat in front of you. But before you splurge, you need a spoon to help. You can't be getting ice cream all over your fingers, after all.

You walk a couple of steps to the drawer, grab a spoon, and turn around with your mouth watering. Only now, it looks like something has beat you to the first bite. It's a giant cockroach, and it's sitting right on top of the fresh pint of ice cream you opened less than a minute ago. You can see its small, hairy legs digging into your delectable dessert - legs that have undoubtedly crawled over much worse things than the ice cream you bought.

Now, your ice cream is ruined, and you've got that creepy-crawly feeling that other roaches and bugs are living just under the surface of every counter and floorboard of your house. Unfortunately, that scenario could be very true - and depending on the pest, your family could be at risk.

For most Lowcountry residents, home is a sanctuary of comfort and privacy. It's a place where they can relax and spend quality time with their loved ones after a tiring day at work. However, pests like roaches and rodents are not mindful of boundaries and can invade your personal space at any moment. That fresh pint of ice cream you left on the counter? That's their meal for the evening.

They seek refuge and sustenance inside your dwelling, which is an appalling thought for most homeowners. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be your reality when you have pest control in Seabrook Island, SC from Low Country Pest Management.

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A Critter-Free Home Starts with Low Country Pest Management

At Low Country Pest Management, we know how crucial it is for your home or business to be clean and pest-free. That's why we approach every pest control project with highly-trained technicians, effective control methods, and eco-friendly solutions.

In fact, we make it a point to provide all our customers with top-quality workmanship, reliability, and exceptional customer service, no matter how complex or simple the job may be. When you call Low Country Pest Management about a pest control problem, you can rest assured that it will be addressed safely, efficiently, and professionally.

Unlike some pest control companies in South Carolina, our expert technicians use the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and control strategies, complemented by decades of combined pest control experience. We specialize in many types of pest control and address a wide range of pests, including:

To truly serve our customers with effective pest control services, our tactics go beyond basic pest treatments by inspecting your home and making recommendations for pest-proofing your structure. By using targeted, eco-friendly pest control tactics based on Integrated Pest Management, we can prevent pests from entering your home in the first place. That way, you and your family can sleep well at night, knowing you don't have to worry about an infestation.

At Low Country Management, we address many types of pests, from termite control in Seabrook Island, SC, to rodent control and even crawlspace encapsulations for pests.

Lowcountry Pest Management Seabrook Island, SC
  • Rodents Rodents
  • Roaches Termites
  • Roaches Roaches
  • Crickets Crickets
  • Ants Ants
  • Centipedes Centipedes
  • Fleas Fleas
  • Earwigs Earwigs
  • Silverfish Silverfish
  • Spiders Spiders
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What Clients Say About Us

What are the Biggest Benefits of

Pest Control in Seabrook Island, SC?

At Low Country Pest Management, one of the most common questions we hear online is, "Why should I hire a pest control specialist? I can just kill the bugs myself." While this is true to a certain extent, truly effective pest control requires professional tools, strategies, and experience. Stomping a spider on your living room floor isn't going to control or prevent them from coming back.

Here are just a few reasons why homeowners and business owners should consider hiring a pest control company to remedy their problems.

Reduced Chance of Illness and Health Issues

Reduced Chance of Illness and Health Issues

Working with a pest control company like Low Country Pest Management can reduce and even eliminate many common health concerns relating to pests. Because the truth is many pests can transfer harmful bacteria and diseases via their droppings, bites, and more, causing allergic reactions and worse.

Professional Knowledge and Expertise

Professional Knowledge and Expertise

When it comes to pest control, it's best to leave it to the professionals. They have the knowledge and training to handle pests efficiently and effectively. With access to the latest tools and technology, you can trust that they will take care of any pest infestations in a safe and thorough manner. At Low Country Pest Management, we cater our pest control methods to your needs and your home or business for the most effective results. Contact our office today to learn more about our effective approach to pest control in Seabrook Island, SC.

Less Stress

Less Stress

When you're aware that you have a pest issue, it can be hard not to over-stress and overthink the situation. If you're losing sleep due to a fear of bed bugs, spiders, or other pests, professional pest control can help you stress less. Once your infestation is over, you can finally breathe again. To keep your stress levels low, our technicians don't just eliminate pests from your living space – they tell you how they did it and explain the steps you can take to avoid pests in the future.

Cost-Conscious Pest Control Solutions

Cost-Conscious Pest Control Solutions

Choosing a professional pest control service is a more budget-friendly option than attempting DIY methods. DIY solutions are often less effective and may not completely eradicate the issue. Professional pest control companies possess the necessary skills and equipment to ensure the task is accomplished correctly, ultimately saving you money in the future. Furthermore, they can complete the job quickly, removing pests promptly so that you can quickly resume your normal routine.

Avoid Costly Damage to Your Home

Avoid Costly Damage to Your Home

If not taken care of, pests can cause severe harm to your property. They can spoil food, ruin furniture and fixtures, and even harm the structural stability of your home or business. To avoid such damage and save money, you should consider hiring a professional pest control service.

At Low Country Pest Management, we provide peace of mind for our customers through our reliable, effective pest control services in South Carolina. Some of the most requested services we offer include rodent control, termite control, and crawlspace encapsulations.

 Just Kill The Bugs Seabrook Island, SC

At Low Country Pest Management, we provide peace of mind for our customers through our reliable, effective pest control services in South Carolina. Some of the most requested services we offer include rodent control, termite control, and crawlspace encapsulations.

phone (843) 810-7378

Is There a Rat Hiding in Your Home?

It's Time for Rodent Control in Seabrook Island, SC

Discovering a rat, mouse, squirrel, or other rodent in your home can be a distressing experience. These nasty creatures are known for their destructive behavior, chewing on wires, spreading bacteria, and leaving behind dangerous droppings.

Rodents are also known to breed and multiply quickly. While it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands and swat them away with a broom, seeking professional rodent control services is the safest and most effective way to protect your loved ones. Our skilled rodent control technicians are licensed and have the necessary expertise and equipment to provide long-term solutions for your family's safety.

Our effective rodent control strategies include sealing as many holes and cracks as possible on the outside of your home. Large holes or cracks in your foundation are filled with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam to keep mice from chewing through. Our pest control techs then seal any openings into your attic space to prevent mice and other unwanted guests out.

Some of the most common rodents we keep out of your home include the following:

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Opossums
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • More

Low Country Pest Management Pro Tip:

Great rodent control doesn't end when our technicians leave. To keep rodents as far away from your home as possible, remember to keep materials, such as firewood or stacks of lumber, away from the house to minimize hiding places. Debris and leaves should be removed from around the foundation of your home. Lastly, try to keep the inside of your home clean, tidy, and free of food items lying around.

Pest Control Seabrook Island, SC

Protect Your Home and Belongings with

Termite Control in Seabrook Island, SC

Termites can cause significant damage to your home's aesthetics and structural integrity, surpassing that of hurricanes and fires combined. With a single colony consisting of thousands or millions of members, termites have an endless supply of their favorite food: wood. As they relentlessly consume wood and other materials, extensive subterranean and dry wood damage can occur.

Unfortunately, in South Carolina, without professional termite control, it's not a matter of if termites will find your home but when. To make matters worse, most homeowner insurance policies do not cover termite damage, meaning it's imperative that you deal with termite infestations quickly and efficiently. If you suspect a termite infestation in your home, reach out to Low Country Pest Management ASAP for an inspection.

Our termite solutions include a bi-annual inspection (coming out to your house twice a year) instead of the standard one time per year, protecting your home from termites in South Carolina, including the destructive subterranean termite. Most other termite exterminators in South Carolina don't provide such comprehensive service.

 Rodent Control Seabrook Island, SC
 Termite Control Seabrook Island, SC

What Factors Contribute to Termites in Your Home?

In the Lowcountry and other areas of South Carolina, termites infest homes every day for various reasons. Different types of termites are attracted to wood, but each species has a specific preference for the type of wood they consume. Dampwood termites prefer damp wood, while drywood termites look for dry wood. On the other hand, subterranean termites require moist soil nearby and will devour any wood in contact with or close to the earth.

The following factors may lead to a termite infestation in your home:

  • Year-Round Humidity
  • Warm or Hot Weather
  • Moisture Due to Leaky Pipes, Bad Airflow, or Poor Drainage
  • Wood in Contact with Your Home, Like Mulch and Shrubs
  • Gaps in Your Home's Siding
  • Cracks or Fissures in the Foundation of Your Home

Tips for a Termite-Free Home

While professional termite control is always the best route to go for effective, long-term termite prevention, there are some steps you can take to help mitigate termites in your home.

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drainage

Correct Drainage Issues

To keep termites at bay, it's important to avoid excess moisture around your home. Termites thrive in damp conditions, so proper drainage around your house can help prevent an infestation. Check that your downspouts are directing water away from your home, and ensure that your A/C drip lines and faucets aren't causing water to pool around your foundation. Additionally, be sure to clean your gutters regularly to prevent any excess moisture buildup.

Move Mulch

Move Mulch

Most mulches are made of wood and are also damp or wet, creating the perfect environment for termites to thrive. Make sure you rake any mulch you have away from the foundation of your home to minimize termite infestations.

Keep Firewood Away

Keep Firewood Away

Much like mulch, firewood and other forms of wood like discarded branches can give termites easy access to your home when they're too close. Try to move firewood away from the foundation of your home much like you move mulch. For more tips on how you can mitigate a termite infestation in your home, contact Low Country Pest Management.

Crawlspace Pest Encapsulations:

Prevention from the Ground Up

To maintain an active infestation, household pests require three basic requirements: a food source, a harborage area for survival and reproduction, and moisture. Moisture problems within a property often lead to pest issues, making it necessary to include crawl space insect control in your home maintenance plan. Low Country Pest Management recognizes that eliminating excess moisture is crucial to safeguarding a property and its occupants from pests throughout the year.

That's why we often install crawlspace encapsulation for issues like rodent and termite control in Seabrook Island, SC.

 Pest Encapsulation Seabrook Island, SC
 Seabrook Island, SC

What is Crawlspace Encapsulation for Pest Control?

Encapsulation for pests is a tactic that includes covering the walls of your crawlspace with a heavy-duty vapor barrier material to help minimize moisture and, by proxy, keep pests at bay. This barrier is secured to your foundation's walls and ceiling piers. To further benefit an encapsulation for pest control, our team may use dehumidifiers, foundation fans, or foundation vents to further decrease moisture.

Signs You Need a Crawlspace Pest Encapsulation

Excessive moisture in and around a house can lead to the proliferation of household pests like rodents, spiders, house ants, carpenter ants, centipedes, earwigs, and crickets. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to consider crawl space insect control.

  • Smells of Must or Mold
  • Mildew on Your Floors or Ceilings
  • Soil in Crawlspace is Wet
  • Bricks or Masonry Around Home is Crumbling
  • Standing or Pooling Water Within or Near Foundation
  • Discoloration on Your Home’s Siding
  • Porch and Patio Water Stains
  • Spongy-Feeling Flooring

To learn more about pest encapsulation services from Low Country Pest Management, contact our office today. We would be happy to explain our process and hear more about the issues you're facing.

Lowcountry Pest Management Seabrook Island, SC

Trust the Best When

It's Time to Eliminate Pests

Whether you need rodent control in Seabrook Island, SC, or you're dealing with another form of pests such as termites, roaches, spiders, and more, Low Country Pest Management is here to help. Unlike some of our competition, our #1 goal is to ensure your safety, satisfaction, and peace of mind. Our team of skilled pest control professionals implements environmentally-friendly solutions supported by thorough research and cutting-edge methods to permanently eradicate your pest infestation.

In the unlikely event that any pests remain present after treatment, we'll return to your home or business to make it right. At the end of the day, we aim to simplify your pest control process in South Carolina, so you can focus on loving life in the Lowcountry.

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Latest News in Seabrook Island, SC

Hicks: No smooth sailing in the forecast for Seabrook annexation plan

For its first annexation in more than 30 years, Seabrook Island’s Town Council picked a real doozy.Next week, council will likely vote to annex nearly 18 acres on Bohicket Creek — just across from neighboring Kiawah Island’s Town Hall — for a mixed-use development designed around a marina and private yacht club.The details are a tad fuzzy (well, as much as they can be with a 200-page proposal), but public sentiment is not.Nearly 600 residents have expressed concerns about the project’s poten...

For its first annexation in more than 30 years, Seabrook Island’s Town Council picked a real doozy.

Next week, council will likely vote to annex nearly 18 acres on Bohicket Creek — just across from neighboring Kiawah Island’s Town Hall — for a mixed-use development designed around a marina and private yacht club.

The details are a tad fuzzy (well, as much as they can be with a 200-page proposal), but public sentiment is not.

Nearly 600 residents have expressed concerns about the project’s potential environmental, traffic and flooding impact. That’s more than a quarter of the island’s full-time residents.

They've made it clear they don't want this, but feel like no one's listening.

“The vast majority of people have been opposed to this,” says island resident Paul McLaughlin. “They don’t have to listen to us, but don’t go and ask for our opinion if you don’t listen to the answers. It offers no benefit to us; it’s a private club.”

His frustration is understandable, because a lot of people have valid concerns.

The state already considers that stretch of Bohicket too contaminated for oyster harvesting; the feds say it’s not safe to eat fish caught there. The state turned down similar plans 30 years ago … which is about the last time Seabrook gave any thought to expanding its borders.

McLaughlin notes the developer's plan may address flooding on the property, but what does it do to the rest of the island?

Residents can't leverage their usual influence over local officials, several of whom publicly support the plan, because most of them aren’t running for reelection.

It’s sort of a perfect storm — and, on Seabrook, it’s definitely storm season.

Local government is usually the most responsive to local citizens. A couple dozen bicyclists can — and did — derail Charleston’s carefully negotiated plans to redesign downtown's King Street. But hundreds of well-heeled retirees can’t move the needle?

The island's planning commission recommended the annexation on a 4-1 vote in July over vocal opposition. Residents get one more chance next week at a public hearing prior to an initial annexation vote, but aren’t optimistic.

They’ll get 30 minutes — three minutes per speaker — to relay their concerns in a room that holds an audience of about 60. That's pretty standard operating procedure for local governments, but Seabrook residents are livid. The town, they say, has ignored repeated calls for a larger venue and more time.

Seabrook Mayor John Gregg says the developer has held informational meetings with residents for the past year, and when the island got the proposal in June, the town posted all documents online.

He says the alternative meeting venues suggested are all behind Seabrook’s private gate — and council meetings must be accessible to the public. Besides, he says, Town Hall is fitted with equipment to broadcast the meeting to the entire island.

If more people want to speak than time allows, the mayor says, speakers will be chosen by a random number algorithm generator.

That probably won’t make residents, or others, happy. Because this isn't just some not-in-my-backyard grousing. The Coastal Conservation League, the nonprofit Kiawah Conservancy and various Johns Island advocates have also objected. Even Kiawah has taken an unprecedented stand.

Earlier this month, Kiawah Mayor John D. Labriola and Town Council members sent a letter to Seabrook, publicly opposing the annexation.

“We strongly believe that maintaining the current [urban growth boundary] is critically important to protect the unique Sea Islands ecosystem and the rural character of the land outside the boundary for future generations,” Labriola wrote.

That's called foreshadowing.

Seabrook Councilwoman Jeri Finke wrote in the most recent issue of The Seabrooker that annexing the land gives the town control over it, which is better than allowing Charleston County or Kiawah to make the decisions. Her argument hasn't moved many.

That’s because Kiawah Mayor Labriola hit on a salient point. Since the land falls outside the urban growth boundary, its potential development would be fairly limited … if Seabrook just stayed out of this.

See, right now that land falls under county jurisdiction, and County Council would never ignore such a large and influential group of citizens.

But Seabrook’s annexation blocks county intervention because the town isn't party to the urban growth boundary agreement. That allows a few outgoing public officials to open the door to new development.

The Andell tract, as this land is called, sits at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway — an area just outside two wealthy communities under tremendous development pressure. Already, more businesses, a retirement community and an entire medical district are in the works.

But that land was never meant to be developed, at least not to this extent. That’s what the urban growth boundary dictates. The overdevelopment of Maybank Highway was meant as a trade-off to leave the rest of Johns Island largely rural.

Such plans often shrivel when there's money to be made — this is proof of that. But the marina development could also bring renewed scrutiny to the urban growth boundary and spark radical change ... because people are sick of overdevelopment.

But that's a story for another day.

At the hyper-local level, Seabrook officials should know their audience ... er, constituents. These are people who know how to get things done. They know how to file lawsuits. And they don’t give up.

So don’t expect next week’s vote to be the last word.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

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Reach Brian Hicks at [email protected].

First-ever committee addresses Seabrook Island short-term rentals

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A first-time special committee on short-term rentals is hearing Seabrook Island residents’ concerns and hopes for the island’s future.The Seabrook Island Town Council established a Special Committee on Short-Term Rentals on Jan. 4 with the members being appointed on Jan. 23.The committee’s purpose is to study short-term rental activities and trends within the town. This could involve limiting the number of short-term rentals, limiting the ownership of multiple short-term rentals,...

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A first-time special committee on short-term rentals is hearing Seabrook Island residents’ concerns and hopes for the island’s future.

The Seabrook Island Town Council established a Special Committee on Short-Term Rentals on Jan. 4 with the members being appointed on Jan. 23.

The committee’s purpose is to study short-term rental activities and trends within the town. This could involve limiting the number of short-term rentals, limiting the ownership of multiple short-term rentals, what fees are reasonable, etc.

Seabrook Island is home to 2,345 family homes and villas and 588 of those are short-term rentals, according to the town.

With about 25% of the island being taken up by short-term rentals, some residents say there are issues that need to be addressed.

“Agitating alligators,” Seabrook Island resident John Lagna said during Wednesday’s first public forum. “Secondly, speeding. Thirdly, ignoring stop signs... Lastly, ignoring amenity rules.”

However, not everyone agrees.

“There are a number of factors that have entered into it, but short-term rentals seem to be an easy target,” resident Debra Hardick said.

The committee says they are referencing data from peak COVID-19 times from when the number of renters significantly increased.

Resident Paul McLaughlin says the growth of the island has impacted the overall sense of community.

“If you don’t know who your neighbors are, it’s just not a very good feeling,” McLaughlin said.

The committee is made up of a town councilman, homeowners and even short-term rental owners who have been on the island for around a decade or more. They say the town has previously had an Ad Hoc Committee to address this topic, which was allowed to be done privately, but they want this one to be public to increase transparency.

Darryl May is the only town councilman on the short-term rental committee while the other seven are residents.

“So, the goal of this committee is to develop a set of proposals for the town council to pass an ordinance,” May said.

During the public forum, some shared ideas for what that ordinance may or may not look like.

“I think we should allow renters,” resident Ann Laporte said. “I think we should allow a minimum of three nights. No more than that.”

Resident Bill Boissonalt has another idea, adding that the town shouldn’t still be referencing data from peak COVID in 2020.

“I just don’t believe that we need any new regulations regarding the overnight stay, the capped rentals, based on history,” Boissonalt said.

As far as what the committee thinks the ordinance could look like, May says he doesn’t want to jump the gun.

“I won’t hazard to guess because we’re just starting out this process and we want to have a very open mind,” May said. “But we do anticipate getting an ordinance by about June.”

There are still three more public hearings over the next two weeks and the committee encourages Seabrook Island residents and those who rent on the island to speak.

Click here to read more about past short-term rental data and sign up for public comment.

Read below for the details on the next three public forums:

Public Forum #2

Public Forum #3

Public Forum #4

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Planned yacht club advances after Seabrook Island board OKs annexation, land use change

SEABROOK ISLAND — Three decades after a plan to create a 400-slip marina through a canal and lock project on Johns Island was rejected, a scaled-down proposal calls for a private yacht club on nearly 18 acres in the same general area on Bohicket Creek.Conservationists and several area ...

SEABROOK ISLAND — Three decades after a plan to create a 400-slip marina through a canal and lock project on Johns Island was rejected, a scaled-down proposal calls for a private yacht club on nearly 18 acres in the same general area on Bohicket Creek.

Conservationists and several area residents oppose the development called Andell, but Seabook Island's Planning Commission voted 4-1 on July 12 to recommend annexing the site and zoning the property for a mixed-used development. Town council will have final say.

Bohicket Creek Investors LLC of Charleston wants to build a boat dock with a private clubhouse, boathouse and poolhouse along with outdoor amenities and 10 rental cottages for members and the public at 4484 Betsy Kerrison Parkway.

"Annexing gives Seabrook future control of the site," said Mike Shuler, the property owner's principal and managing partner. "It will substantially limit future development of the site."

The property, currently zoned for agricultural and residential use in unincorporated Charleston County, would allow "a variety of agricultural and light industrial uses ... which could have significantly greater impact on the existing natural features than the proposed development," according to the town's planning staff, which recommended conditional project approval.

Real Estate

Among those opposing the project is the Coastal Conservation League.

Robby Maynor, the Charleston-based environmental group's communities and transportation program director, said the project is outside the region's "urban growth boundary" and called the proposed development "a step in the opposite direction" of protecting rural acreage.

He also cited potentially adverse effects from pollution runoff into Bohicket Creek, increased boat traffic and encroachment into critical habitat areas.

A half dozen others cited similar concerns before the Planning Commission's vote. The board also noted it had received more than 500 comments about the proposal with the vast majority in opposition.

Proponents of the project said that the property's current zoning allows multiple uses than what's being proposed, that the town will have more control over the property if it is annexed and that the development will provide recreational opportunities.

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The project's name is similar to a proposed development from 30 years ago called Andell Harbor that called for a massive earth-moving operation with a man-made channel connecting to a large marina. State environmental regulators eventually nixed the idea in the mid-1990s.

The yacht club site is beside Bohicket Marina, which also is owned by Shuler's group, and the two would be connected by a boardwalk and road. The planned entrance to the new development is across from Kiawah Island Town Hall.

Cottages would flank both sides of the drive leading to the yacht club.

Plans show the development on about 4 acres of the site near the creek. The rest of the property would be set aside as open space, including a 75-foot wooded buffer next to the parkway and a 20-foot vegetated area next to the northwest parcel in the county.

The site also would include a public boardwalk, pathways and a community crabbing dock.

Bohicket Creek Investors bought the tract in 2021 for $5.6 million, according to Charleston County land records. Nearby properties include Freshfields Village Shopping Center.

Real Estate

Bohicket Marina, which is in the town of Seabrook Island, is southwest of the proposed development.

If the property is annexed into the town, it would tie into the town's sewer system, with St. John's Water Co. proving water service

The yacht club would be separate from the community and recreational facilities provided by Seabrook Island Property Owners Association and Seabrook Island Club.

Town Council is scheduled to review the proposal on Aug. 22. The measure requires a public hearing and two majority votes in separate meetings to pass.

How Audubon South Carolina Protects Their Coastal Birds and the Places They Need

With their Shorebird Stewardship program, Audubon South Carolina protects Red Knots, American Oystercatchers, and other birds that find respite on their shores. Words by Gabrielle SalehSenior Coordinator of Social Media, National Audubon Society Published June 01, 2023 Maybe it’s seeing the first rays of sunlight peeki...

With their Shorebird Stewardship program, Audubon South Carolina protects Red Knots, American Oystercatchers, and other birds that find respite on their shores.

Words by Gabrielle Saleh

Senior Coordinator of Social Media, National Audubon Society

Published June 01, 2023

Maybe it’s seeing the first rays of sunlight peeking over the horizon while Sanderlings and Willets scamper on the sand sneaking bites to eat, or hearing the calls of Laughing Gulls overhead as Black Skimmers bark in the background—or the fact that I haven’t visited a beach in years—but sunrise at the beach is a magical experience.

This morning, I’m in Charleston, South Carolina exploring Seabrook Island’s coast with my Audubon colleagues. We’re searching for migrating Red Knots, a shorebird that stops over parts of the Atlantic Coast along its 9,000-mile journey to nest in the Arctic. (You can discover its full migration journey with the Bird Migration Explorer.)

Seabrook Island and its neighbor Kiawah Island are two key beaches that the species relies on for survival. Early May is horseshoe crab spawning season, which means the wet sand along islands nearby is filled with their eggs, and outside of spawning, Seabrook Island is rich with donax clams. Horseshoe crab eggs and donax clams are what sustain the knots as they prepare to fly the remainder of their journey to their breeding grounds.

"We get about 40% of the Red Knot Atlantic Coast population—that’s [over] 17,000 birds—that stop on Seabrook and Kiawah Islands in the springtime,” says Allyssa Zebrowski, Audubon South Carolina’s coastal stewardship coordinator.

Like Red Knots, endangered Piping Plovers use South Carolina beaches to rest and feed through the winter before making their way up north to breed. State-threatened Wilson’s Plovers raise their young here—so do state-threatened Least Terns—and 1/3 of the American Oystercatcher’s population find respite on these shores in the winter.

Human disturbance is one of the greatest threats these birds face along the nearly 3,000 miles of South Carolina’s tidal shorelines, whether that’s people walking through resting flocks or unleashed dogs getting too close to nesting birds. That’s why in 2016 Audubon South Carolina launched its Shorebird Stewardship program to conserve these five vulnerable focal species and other coastal birds by educating people about them.

“What started as a seasonal program led into a year-round need for stewardship,” says Nolan Schillerstrom, Audubon South Carolina’s coastal program associate. “We realized…that it really needed a year-round effort, not only to focus on the non-breeding birds but to continue the momentum from year to year.”

Now, depending on the year, Audubon South Carolina sends volunteers called Shorebird Stewards to 10 to 13 different coastal sites to prevent human disturbance. The stewards undergo training each year to learn more about coastal birds and their behaviors. They also are trained on how to talk to beachgoers to get them to care about the birds. Plus, they help post signs alerting people to birds nesting or resting nearby.

“It’s all about getting out there, watching out for the birds, and telling other people to [be mindful of] the birds,” says Zebrowski.

The Shorebird Stewardship program works with a variety of partners to reduce human disturbance, including Seabrook Island Birders, which runs the volunteer program at their beach site.

We’re joined by a couple of the birders today on our walk to find the Red Knots. Many of the beachgoers they encounter are their neighbors and visitors to the private island, so they have their own way of telling people to look out for the birds.

“I like to tell people a story about the birds to make them feel sympathetic towards them,” says Lesley Gore, one of the program coordinators. “I’ll tell them how many miles the Red Knots are going to fly and that it’s very important for them to gain their weight [undisturbed].”

It’s clear that stewardship plays a vital role in protecting beach birds across the country. A recent study led by Audubon’s science team found that four vulnerable coastal bird species’ populations grew 2 to 34 times faster at stewardship sites rather than birds in only protected areas.

Audubon South Carolina is already seeing positive results from the program. “We do see the improved nesting success of the American Oystercatcher, the Wilson’s Plover, and the Least Tern [at sites we help manage],” says Zebrowski. That nesting success is combined with the program’s growing number of volunteers and increased notoriety each year.

And it’s a good thing too, because shorebirds as a whole are at risk in North America. In fact, the continent’s shorebirds have declined by 70% since the 1970s.

“That’s the stat that we always think of when we’re on the ground,” says Schillerstrom. “We want to tern that around and give these birds a fighting chance here on the beach.”

After passing breeding American Oystercatcher pairs, diving Brown Pelicans, and soaring Osprey, we finally reach an inlet that gives us a view of the Red Knots, though they’re on Kiawah Island today. We watch them huddle en masse on the shoreline, preening and calling.

To be able to capture photos and footage, from a safe distance, we visit Kiawah Island the next day and make another trek in hopes of catching the knots at the right time. At first, we find them across the inlet on Seabrook Island, but suddenly, when the tide rises to the perfect height, the birds flock to the sky, flying back and forth over the water uniformly as they murmurate, creating mesmerizing patterns with their striking orange bellies and mottled gray backs.

They land on our side of the inlet, on Kiawah, and begin running along the shoreline, giving us the perfect opportunity to capture their essence. I watch their activity in awe, knowing that in just a few weeks, they will be making the last leg of their journey up north to breed. It reminds me of why we must all do our part to protect them so that they can exist for future generations.

I’m also reminded of a conversation we had with a shorebird steward volunteer, Nancy Chomel, who we met the day before at Seabrook Island. When asked what makes her passionate about protecting coastal birds, she replies, “In saving the birds, we save ourselves.”

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

To learn more about Audubon South Carolina’s coastal conservation efforts, including how to become a volunteer Shorebird Steward, visit their website.

Seabrook Island neighbors push for short-term rental cap, mayor says no cap needed

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Seabrook Island neighbors are petitioning their leaders to cap the number of short-term rentals, stating there is overcrowding due to what they called over-tourism, but the mayor said the town has no plans to do so.Seabrook Island homeowner Ted Flerlage says over 700 of his neighbors want to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island.“What we’re trying to do is cap, not end the process of short-term rentals, cap at roughly the present numbers, evaluate what happens after that,&...

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Seabrook Island neighbors are petitioning their leaders to cap the number of short-term rentals, stating there is overcrowding due to what they called over-tourism, but the mayor said the town has no plans to do so.

Seabrook Island homeowner Ted Flerlage says over 700 of his neighbors want to cap the number of short-term rentals on the island.

“What we’re trying to do is cap, not end the process of short-term rentals, cap at roughly the present numbers, evaluate what happens after that,” Flerlage said, “and then, determine whether or not we should lower the number of short-term rentals.”

As of June 19, there are 484 of these properties on the island, which residents said has led to overcrowding on the island’s streets and amenities.

Mayor John Gregg said for this year, data gathered over the past few months suggest otherwise.

“We’re not going to be looking at imposing limitations on the number of short-term rental units,” Gregg said.

Coastal Getaways owner Nancy Buck said more people are starting to call the island home, and good rentals are full for around 40% of the year.

She says all of her clients are property owners who rent to help offset the costs of the amenities, taxes and insurance.

“We’ve also gone from 35% permanent residents to 60% residents in the last two years,” Buck said. “Twenty-five percent of the properties have turned over since 2019.”

Buck also adds the majority of the amenities are mostly used by members and not rental guests.

However, the homeowners want the town’s government to hear them out.

“I’d like him to reconsider,” Flerlage said. “I’d like him to look at the reality and listen to the people who are property owners here, the residents on the island. You know, 700 people is a big number.”

“Let’s wait and see how this year goes,” Buck said. “They instituted the short-term rental ordinance couple of years ago, or actually, last year, so let’s give it a full year to see how it goes.”

Both Buck and the homeowners said they want to work out their differences over the next several months to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

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