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This booklet, produced by NOAA, synthesizes over 15 years of research in tidal creeks and explains the consequences of increasing amounts of impervious surface for a watershed.tidal_creek_habitats_cover

The mission of River Smart is to act as a clearinghouse for all things environmental in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

The purpose of River Smart is to promote education, awareness and stewardship in collaboration with individuals, organizations, grassroots groups, land trusts, scientists, governments and non-governmental organizations. River Smart works as a guide and connector to ensure conservation efforts in the region are coordinated and effective. The River Smart motto is “Collaborate + Educate + Participate.” River Smart is a program of Friends of the Rivers, a non-profit 509(1)a organization.


water quality

Protecting water quality is essential to protecting the biodiversity of the Port Royal Sound system because 46% of Beaufort County’s coverage consists of salt marshes and tidal rivers. LCI works to protect local water quality by educating the public about how unique this region is – there are no other coastal regions like it.

water_qualityLCI partners with the local grassroots organization Friends of the Rivers to provide water quality education programs and to make recommendations to local municipalities and elected officials.

The Institute began working on water quality issues in 2000 when staff assisted Nancy Schilling with the formation of Friends of the Rivers. LCI provided both logistical and financial support for the organization until it was able to obtain its own 501c3 non-profit status and sources of funding.

A major success of the partnership between LCI and Friends of the Rivers is disseminating the message “What makes Port Royal Unique?” This program explains what needs to be done locally to protect water quality and is based on results from scientific studies conducted by NOAA, SC DNR, and SC DHEC.

In 2009, nine years after LCI first started giving this program, both Beaufort County Council and local municipalities have embraced this message and are working to improve their stormwater ordinances.

Dr. Fred Holland, retired Director of the NOAA Hollings Marine Institute and LCI Board member, has become the scientific spokesperson to assistant local government officials with their evaluations.