|Pelicans flying at dusk to a safe spot for the night|
Going out in the boat, or travelling to the beach, are both popular things to do in summer. It’s a safe bet that watching a pelican fly by or perform an aerial dive into the water is a part of that experience that most folks take for granted. Did you know that South Carolina is home base for a whopping 38-percent of all the nesting brown pelicans on the East Coast. An ambitious plan addressing coastal bird conservation plans to raise $2 million dollars, and partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging project in 2019, to fully restore Crab Bank for the sake of nesting birds.
|SCDNR's Felicia Sanders speaking to the|
Seabrok Island Birders about Deveaux Bank
Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary is owned by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and is located in Charleston Harbor at the mouth of Shem Creek. The nesting habitat there suffered serious erosion from Hurricane Irma in 2017, and is subject to continuous wave action form wind, tide and boats. Crab Bank is listed as an Important Bird Area by Audubon, and used to be home to approximately 5000 nests for a wide range of coastal birds. Only a sliver of Crab Bank remains today, and it is much too small to provide and nesting cover presently.
“If renourished, Crab Bank can produce hundreds of thousands of young birds over the next fifty years,” said Felicia Sanders, an SCDNR wildlife biologist. “This is also a place where humans can get close enough in boats and kayaks to learn about the birds without disturbing them.” Coastal tourism brings lots of visitors hoping to see wildlife, but in the case of restoring Crab Bank, they can witness conservation in action. Coastal birds are declining in number over the past 50 years due to habitat loss, human disturbance and sea level rise, explaining the emphasis being put on the Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary.
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries about shorebirds click on Kiawah Shorebird Symposium - S.C. Spring Shorebird Synergy - Manomet visits Yawkey Preserve - The Narrow Edge book - Red Knot Rendezvous