Waties Island Victory!

Cherry Grove Inlet 18″x24″ Oil on Linen Mary Edna Fraser 2022

A Waties Island victory is here at last!
Waties Island, one of the last undeveloped barrier
islands on South Carolina’s coast and the only one
located in Horry County, has been owned by various
members of the Horace Tilghman family since the
the 1920s. Following the division of land among family
members in the late 1980s, one-third of the island
was sold to an outside development group and
the southern tip of the island was gifted to the Coastal
Education Foundation.
For most of her life, family member Olivia Boyce-Abel
has worked tirelessly towards a conservation
outcome for Waties Island and most recently for her
parcel of land – one that suits the island’s sensitive
habitats, which are home to endangered and
threatened species such as loggerhead turtles and
least terns. Her search ended when the Open Space
Institute agreed to protect her part of the island’s
unique needs, offering to purchase and hold the land
until SCDNR could acquire it.
The opportunity was almost jeopardized in December
2020, when a lawsuit was filed by Coastal Education
Foundation claimed partial property ownership. This
temporarily blocked the OS contract for 18 months,
until last week when SCELP was able to successfully
settle the dispute. We are proud to have ensured the
transfer of the land to OSI and to have aided in the
protection of this portion of Waites Island for the
education and enjoyment of generations to come.
Big thanks to Pilot Chris Carmel from @southwings
for making these impactful images possible!

scelp #forthewildside #southcarolina #discoversc

protectourcoast #protectourplanet #scdnr

environmentaliustice #scenvironment

scstateparks #scwildlife #MyrtleBeachGov

ExploreNMB #NorthMyrtleBeach #JustCoast

Waties Island Flight, December 28, 2021
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