The Daufuskie Island Conservancy, established in 2005, helps to protect what it is that makes this bridge-less island so special. With the slogan “Love it, Save it, Share it”, the Conservancy’s goal is to protect & manage the natural resources of Daufuskie while educating the public about the island’s unique ecosystem.
The Conservancy hosts a series of public environmental talks, each discussing a different aspect of Daufuskie ecology. Topics include sea turtles, gardening, alternative energy, and fishing. This year, the Conservancy joined forces with the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation to showcase “the year of the oyster”. This is year-long series of educational talks, social gatherings, and field trips celebrating the importance of oystering on the island, past and present.
The Conservancy’s “Adopt-a-Road” program was established in 2009 to tackle the issue of litter on Daufuskie. Willing residents “adopt” roads on the island in a promise to keep them free of litter. A monthy clean-up day is established, but most volunteers casually pick up trash as they see it day-to-day. Many of the Adopt-a-Road volunteers are also involved in two beach sweeps annually.
One completed Conservancy project that is considered a large success by many is the implementation of a new recycling center for the private community of Haig Point. First established in 2007, the intention was to reduce items going to landfill while educating Haig Point members about the benefits of recycling. In 2011 this center got a major upgrade to a large single-stream recycling center including drop-offs for paint, e-waste, batteries, and more.
The downside to this project is that it serves only Haig Point; Daufuskie residents outside Haig Point gates are left without a recycling option. For the environmentally-minded residents on Daufuskie, bringing recyclable materials to the dump is a frustrating and unethical experience. The Conservancy has been working to create an all-island waste management facility which would include recycling. Conservancy members developed a Solid Waste Integrative Services Study and presented it to Beaufort County in the hopes of establishing island-wide recycling, but have encountered roadblocks along the way from the county of Beaufort.
To learn more about the projects and programs that the Daufuskie Island Conservancy offers, visit their page. In addition, the website has wonderfully detailed information regarding native plants and animals on the island.