CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (Feb. 18, 2022)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), Charleston County Greenbelt Program, and Ducks Unlimited today announced the completion of a second land protection project resulting in the permanent protection of Pappas Island, a pristine island in McClellanville, South Carolina. The island’s protection will prevent development of an inholding waterfront property within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, while securing contiguous habitat for hundreds of sensitive coastal species.
The 20-acre property is made up of spartina marshes on tidal waters and maritime forest uplands on the Intracoastal Waterway. With its protection, OSI will donate the property to the USFWS for inclusion in the CRNWR, where it will be a valuable coastal buffer against intensifying storms and rising seas.
Protection of the property builds upon OSI’s 2016 protection of an adjacent 105 acres to the west, also transferred to CRNWR that year. Both properties, which had been at imminent risk of development before their protection, together constitute the entirety of the 125-acre Pappas Island — now conserved within CRWNR for habitat preservation and passive public recreation such as photography, bird watching, kayaking, fishing, and environmental education.
“The full protection of Pappas Island within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge prevents disruptive coastal development, provides barrier protection for vulnerable mainland communities from intensifying storms, and secures vital habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife,” said Nate Berry, OSI’s senior vice president in South Carolina.
OSI’s protection of the property was supported by funds from the Charleston County Greenbelt as well as a grant subaward from Ducks Unlimited utilizing USFWS North American Wetlands Conservation Act funds.