Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Edisto Land Trust Continues Conservation Outreach

Dr. Richard Porcher and John Girault
The Back to Nature program of the Edisto Island Open LadTrust (EIOLT) brought Dr. Richard Porcher to Edisto on July 15 for a Saturday morning lecture. The meeting was held at the Edisto Island State Park Environmental Learning Center, providing an air-conditioned setting for the capacity crowd. EILOT Director John Girault welcomed both members and guests, including a contingent of volunteers from nearby Botany Bay WMA, to hear Porcher speak about the changing landscape on the sea islands of the Lowcountry.

Dr. Porcher's subject matter includes rice trunks and wetlands
Dr. Porcher is a botanist, retiring after a 30-year teaching career at the The Citadel, to focus on conservation in the field and to publish two books on Wildflowers and Sea Island Cotton. “Today’s lecture is in support of another book I am working on to document how the landscape is continuously evolving since the arrival of mankind and large scale agriculture practices,” said Porcher. “While Indigo production was significant in the Lowcountry, it was Sea Island Cotton that became so valuable that the wealth it brought to planters and their families essentially funded the building of the city of Charleston.”
“In 1852 the entire island of Edisto was planted in Sea Island cotton,” said Porcher. “It is said that one could stand on the back side of Edisto Island and look toward the beach and see the ocean, because the landscape was flat for ag practices.” Another part of Edisto Island’s history is that the planters used to live at a beachfront colony called Edingsville Beach, which was located near Frampton’s Inlet, but was wiped off the map and left underwater after a major hurricane.

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

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