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our history

The LowCountry Institute (LCI) was established in 1998 to educate the community on the value of the unique environments of the low country region. The Institute promotes effective management of privately owned natural areas and works to protect water quality and marine resources of Port Royal Sound. Dr. Chris Marsh moved to Beaufort County, SC in June 1998 to serve as its first director and continues to serve in that capacity today.

Since its inception, LCI has focused its efforts in three areas: environmental education, effective management of native habitats, and water quality protection. The Institute’s work in these areas demonstrates our unique approach—seeking solutions that integrate sound science, realistic perspectives of human needs, and an increased appreciation of the low country’s notable habitats and biodiversity. LCI’s philosophy has been to provide policymakers with scientific information in a form that is understandable to the layperson. As an “information broker,” LCI emphasizes building working relationships with all parties - governmental staff, developers, and local citizens - so that critical environmental issues can be discussed in an atmosphere that is conducive to cooperative partnerships.