The South Carolina Shore

Charleston, SC

My partner and I had the privilege of recently visiting her friends in Charleston, South Carolina who graciously invited us to stay at their beach house on Edisto Island. While there I took advantage of photographing some of the area’s shorebirds (seen in the first seven photos).

Nearby was the South Edisto Inlet, also referred to as Dolphin Point. There, several dolphin pods could be seen surfacing as they fed. The easiest way to find them was to look for the shore birds flying low, overhead the dolphins.

IUCN designation: Least concern. Greatest threats are coastal development and pollution..

Like shore communities around the world, South Carolina is facing sea-level rise. This is happening a bit faster on the U.S. east coast due to the slowing of the Gulf Stream. According to Dr. Piecuch at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: …Earth’s rotation deflects flowing water to the right [east]; this causes the two sides of the current to have slightly different sea levels — and the faster
the current, the greater the difference. Tide gauge measurements going
back 110 years indicate that this contrast has declined, . . . , particularly in the past two decades.
The result is additional sea-level rise west of the current.

Edisto Island, SC

You can find out more about the weakening Gulf Stream, here.

Do share any of your experiences about South Carolina’s coastal environment.

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