Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2016 Visit to Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center

Four roseate spoonbills in seclusion near Summer Duck Pond
Mature uplands meets pristine wetlands
In 2015 I made my initial journey onto the coastal islands that comprise the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center in Georgetown County. This property is owned and run by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, a gift of 20,000-acres from the late Tom Yawkey. During the prior visit the mission was to look for shorebirds so we stayed put at one or two ponds, but this visit ran the gamut from front beach to upland pines during a rambling four-hour bus tour of Cat Island and South Island.
Jim Lee has been with SCDNR for 30 years and serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the property. Lee met our group at a dock on the Intracoastal waterway and shuttled us over to the property via pontoon boat. A brand new swing bridge to the island was installed in 2015, but wasn’t in use this day, but the real purpose of the new bridge is to allow logging trucks access to the island for the first timber harvesting in decades.

Unique Management Formula
These free educational field trips are offered by SCDNR throughout the year, since the two-fold mission at the Yawkey Center is scientific research and public outreach. When the property was founded in 1976, public access to the property was extremely limited, but social media and changing times have opened up much more opportunity for SCDNR to share how they are stewarding the marsh, uplands, swamps and beaches. The Georgetown Lighthouse is also located on North Island, a 4500-acre uninhabited wilderness area.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

White Pelicans overflew our position
To view past blog entries on Yawkey Center click on 2015 Visit - Shorebirds with Manomet

To view past blog on avian conservation click on Cornell Lab of Ornithology - International Crane Foundation

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