Local Students Fight for the Birds

Moultrie Middle School Students Help Save Crab Bank with Donation to the Coastal Expeditions Foundation

Press Statement/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2018

Contact:
Kari Whitley Crolley, Creative Director

 

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC — Students from Moultrie Middle School in Mount Pleasant raised nearly $700 through a student government fundraiser to help save a critical seabird sanctuary near their school.

Over the last 10 years, students at Moultrie Middle have had the unique opportunity to utilize Shem Creek, a saltwater ecosystem within walking distance of their campus, as an outdoor classroom through the South Carolina Outdoor Education Program (SCOEP).  This kayaking field trip program is privately funded through an environmental foundation,  Black River Management Company. 

Through SCOEP, over 15,000 South Carolina middle school students have participated in sea kayaking field trips on Shem Creek and the Black River (Andrews, SC) at no charge to students or schools. Facilitated by local outfitter, Coastal Expeditions, these experiences teach environmental education, teamwork and sea kayaking skills, while connecting students with the natural places where they live.

Facilitated by local outfitter, Coastal Expeditions, these experiences teach environmental education, teamwork and sea kayaking skills, while connecting students with the natural places where they live. 

This connection to Shem Creek and the wildlife that they have encountered on their field studies with SCOEP encouraged their fundraiser to save Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary, an Audubon Important Bird Area and South Carolina Heritage Preserve.   

One of only five islands of its kind along the coast of South Carolina, this rookery supports thousands of nesting birds every summer, including Eastern brown pelicans, black skimmers, royal terns, laughing gulls and other avian species.  Recent erosion and washovers prevented nesting in 2018, but an Army Corps of Engineers project would re-nourish Crab Bank if $1.4 million is raised locally by December 14, 2018.  To date, nearly $400,000 has been secured for this project.

On October 17, 2018, the teacher sponsors of MMS Student Government, Kylee Newkirk and Anne Cipolla, invited Coastal Expeditions to attend their monthly Student Government meeting to accept their donation to help save Crab Bank.   These funds will be transferred to the South Carolina Coastal Birds Conservation Program, a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources program supported by a coalition of groups including Coastal Conservation League, Audubon South Carolina, South Carolina Aquarium, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited and Coastal Expeditions.

“This check represents the manifestation of your efforts to fight for important species that live in your area,” said Chris Crolley of Coastal Expeditions to the group. “Birds like Eastern brown pelicans are a very important part of our culture, of our way of life.  They us connect with nature around us and we have to champion for them.”

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The Coastal Expeditions Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2018 dedicated to conservation and environmental education in coastal South Carolina.  Formed as the philanthropic arm of the outdoor outfitter Coastal Expeditions, Inc., its mission is to connect people with our natural areas and to support other non-profit groups with environmental missions through fundraising, volunteering and in-kind donations.

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@coastalexpeditions

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant Rentals

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