A little over three years ago, the Conservation League decided, for the first time, to dedicate a position within the Land, Water, and Wildlife Program to focus on more estuary and marine habitat work, thanks to support from Pew Charitable Trusts.
- While in that role, Rachel Hawes worked alongside many partners to accomplish quite a bit, including:
- Obtaining a $1.2 million grant for oyster restoration in Beaufort County.
- Completing the creation of a living shorelines installation training course for contractors and property owners.
- Hiring an intern to provide additional support and research on the bottlenecks to increasing living shorelines in South Carolina.
- Participating in a lead role for the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative, which just released its conservation plan and is starting implementation.
- Engaged hundreds of you to build oyster reefs with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Of course, this is just a small snapshot into the past three years. With rising sea levels, increasing frequency and strength of major storms, and other climate change impacts, this habitat will continue to be a priority for the Conservation League as it serves as a major buffer and support system to our coastal communities and is crucial to support our marine life. Moving forward, this work will continue on, living as a permanent focus area of the Land, Water, and Wildlife Program.
Now that these projects have a secure place within the Conservation League’s portfolio, we are excited to share that Rachel will be transitioning her focus to a new role: the Coastal Stewardship and Engagement Manager.
This newly designed position aims to create meaningful opportunities for community members to connect and engage with our work by reaching new audiences, supporters, advocates, and organizational partnerships, and strengthening our current network. This of course will be done while continuing to steward the coastline, engage folks in our programmatic work, and providing opportunities for outdoor experiences.
As a native Charlestonian, Rachel is excited to see familiar faces and meet new friends as she begins this role for the Conservation League. Even more so, she is excited to get outside with our members to explore why this state has kept some of us around for so long, and enticed others to join us!
If you are interested in staying in touch about these exciting opportunities, sign up here (or you can register for the first one right now!). If you have ideas for engagement you’d like to see the Conservation League pursue, reach out to Rachel at [email protected].