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Dana Beach

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Alligators ascending. Snakes alive! Nature on film. Rare brown pelicans, at Cornell, and on the Pelicam. Trump vs. Trump. Coal free Britain, for a day. Fatalities from potholes? Probably not. Keeping our republic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We have an environment, madam, if you can keep it. Earth Day 2017, with homage to Benjamin Franklin. Folks, I hope you had the pleasure of spending Saturday outside.  There is so much going on – turtles are laying eggs, snakes are on the move, warblers and thrushes are returning from the tropics, alligators are basking on second floor Mt. Pleasant porches…  It’s a great time to celebrate nature! Re: the stair-climbing alligator, Bo Petersen with the Post and…

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In praise of trees. Highway funding basics. (It’s not about the money.) Offshore oil. (It’s not about energy independence.) Weigh in on the (automatic) stay. What’s up with conservation? Ombra mai fu.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ombra mai fu di vegetabile, cara ed amabile, soave più. From “Serse” by George Frederic Handel Folks,   I’ve spent a lot of the last week outdoors, both in the mountains and on the Black and Pee Dee rivers.  (This is my lame excuse for skipping last week’s e-mail.)  The forests are mystical this time of year, with fresh leaves bathing road and river edges in diffused green light.  In the mountains, silver bell and serviceberry flowers are emerging, and dogwoods…


The federal war on the environment and why it doesn’t matter, that much. Living your way into a new way of thinking, about plastics. Kiawah sand dumping. Bikes for everybody! Google “overuse of water.” More trout, less ivory.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Folks, I’ll start with the bad news about the federal government because I hope you will agree that it’s less important than the good news that follows. The Trump Administration continues to amaze. Without exception, every single step they have taken on the environmental front is designed to undermine policies and programs that protect nature and human health, and to eliminate funding for critical scientific research on which future progress depends. They have, in the words…


The unEnlightenment. Echo chambers. Manipulating voters. Mt. Pleasant’s mistake. The value of corner stores. Chicken threats. Magnificent dolphins!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Folks, A couple of weeks ago I included an article by David Brooks on the perils of abandoning the principles and processes of the Enlightenment – skeptical inquiry based on reason and empirical evidence.  But I also included a piece from an English sheep farmer that seemed to provide a counterpoint to the cold rationality of, say, Francis Bacon.  I thought the (sometimes) countervailing forces of reason and sentiment would help us navigate the environmental…

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Measure what you value. Uphold high (mileage) standards. Beaufort takes on plastic. Pro-science congresspeople. Cool oceans protect reefs. Be kind to spiders. Gas tax redux. Plastic seawalls. My mistake.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Folks, If you don’t know who Simon Kuznets was, you were probably an English major or a psychology major.  You were almost certainly not an econ major. Professor Kuznets invented National Income Accounting, which brought us the world’s most widely used measure of economic well-being, Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  National Income Accounting systematized the evaluation of economic activity in America.  Its misuse is also one of the reasons we are in so much trouble today. This editorial…

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Soaring with eagles. Republicans don’t hate the environment. Aldo Leopold vs. Don Young vs. wolves. Victory for the ocean. It ain’t over! I-526 redux, again.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Folks, We had a wonderful trip to Bull’s Island this Saturday, including a prolonged encounter with a bald eagle. The recovery of bald eagles in America, from fewer than 450 breeding pairs in the 1960s to tens of thousands today is one of the great conservation success stories. (US Fish and Wildlife stopped counting eagles in 2007 when the bird was removed from the endangered species list.)  Like hundreds of other animals and plants, rivers and…


Great Interview with Quintin Washington

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Folks – I wanted to follow up with you on Monday’s email from our Board Chair Margot Rose about the transition at the Conservation League and my new role there.  The irrepressible Quintin Washington interviewed me yesterday about those changes. Quintin covers, much better than I could have done by myself, some of our higher profile projects over the past 27 years and how we expect to continue that work in the…


Admirable migration. Fox squirrels redux. Bridging the greenbelt gap. Evasive county council. Too many bans. Elusive climate reality.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

“Nothing wholly admirable ever happens in this country except the migration of birds.” Brooks Atkinson Folks, Brooks Atkinson would agree that there has been a lot admirable happening this week. We are in that magical season when winter residents are still here, (this includes northerners, but today I’m writing about birds), but spring migrants have begun arriving from the tropics. Bear Island in the ACE basin was alive with ducks, swans, white pelicans and avocets, but also with…

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Bay Point development is a lose-lose-lose proposition. The nation’s newest national monument, in SC! Too much of a good (Sullivan’s Island) thing. Cruise ships in Mt. Pleasant? Long live the Conservation Bank!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Folks, This week’s news featured some of the Lowcountry’s most noteworthy places – some threatened with disappearing, others disparaged as oversized, some on the brink of revival, others endowed with national significance. But first, you probably noticed that most of this month has not felt like January. In fact, Charleston set a temperature record on Friday the 13th, (ominously), of 80 degrees. While this may have been exciting if you were headed for the beach, people…

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Hilton Head, are you there?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

By Dana Beach Over the years the Conservation League has worked with cities and counties to plan collaboratively with an eye toward environmental protection.  One of the first counties to take up the comprehensive planning mantel was Beaufort, in the mid-1990s.  But the road has not always been smooth. A major challenge came from what we called “rogue” towns that, at the behest of developers, annexed property with the explicit goal of undermining stronger county zoning…

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