Paddlers on Waccamaw Christine Ellis photo creditv2

Updates from the Southeast

Image Credit: Christine Ellis

Dear Friends,

If 2020 was the year of resilience, 2021 is the year of results. Working with myriad public and private partners to identify over $20 million in funding, the Open Space Institute (OSI) is on track to secure over 4,000 acres in ecologically rich and threatened landscapes over the next few months. From the ACE Basin, to the Ashley and Waccamaw Rivers, and all the way to Macon, Georgia, OSI is at work protecting land for habitat and people.

OSI’s success is due in large part to the persistence and passion of our small but skilled team. But conservation is a joint effort. In South Carolina especially, teamwork has been the primary driver of land protection for the last four decades. Recently, the conservation community’s collaborative efforts paid dividends when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the S.C. Conservation Bank five National Coastal Wetlands Grants totaling $5 million to protect 4,953 acres in Williamsburg, Jasper, Charleston, Georgetown, and Horry counties. South Carolina’s projects pulled in nearly 20 percent of all funds awarded nationwide, an affirmation of the quality of our coastal wetland habitats. Three of the awards were tied to OSI-SE projects.

Below are a few of OSI's first quarter project highlights, both completed and in the pipeline. For a deep dive into the OSI-led visionary collaboration to establish a network of parks along the Pee Dee region’s Black River, read the fantastic Post & Courier front page feature and opinion editorial.

As always, feel free to reach out to me, Maria, Patrick, or Michelle with any questions, and thank you for your continued interest and support.


Senior Vice President
Open Space Institute

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