Boeing SC donates $100K to Crab Bank restoration project

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Boeing South Carolina announced Thursday it will donate $100,000 towards the S.C. Coastal Bird Conservation’s efforts to restore Crab Bank.

The island in the Charleston Harbor is used for seabird nesting, research, education and coastal tourism. It is one of five seabird sanctuaries managed and protected by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

SCDNR, local outfitter Coastal Expeditions and members of the conservation community including Audubon South Carolina, the Coastal Conservation League and SC Wildlife Federation, are united to save Crab Bank in recent years, thousands of nests were active in a single season but in 2018 there were no nests on the island.

“This is a big question for the Charleston community: Are we going to step up and save a place like Crab Bank because we know it’s the right thing to do for future generations of South Carolinians and our wildlife?” Communications Director for the Coastal Conservation League, Caitie Forde-Smith, said. “The answer is yes. We’re committed to figuring out how we’re going to get that done.”

The groups are hoping to raise $1.5 million by December and hope to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as they dredge part of the Charleston. The goal is to use the sediment from the harbor to restore the island. Boeing’s donation puts their total amount of money raised at more than $350,000.

“This is going to require support from our entire community and Boeing stepping up today to join us, we hope, gives added momentum to the project and the fundraising effort,” Forde-Smith said.

Students at Moultrie Middle School in Mount Pleasant also raised hundreds of dollars for the project. The only public school in town to require uniforms held a “Dress Down” day on Sept. 27 where students could dress casually if they donated $1 to the project. Sixth grade teacher, Kylee Newkirk, and the school’s student government put together the fundraiser to show support for Coastal Expeditions, which has given tours out of Shem Creek paddling near and around Crab Bank to each sixth grade class for the past ten years. Read more about the student’s fundraising efforts: here.

“We are thrilled to join these partners to help save a piece of land that is so crucial to our local culture and long-term viability of our natural ecosystem,” said Senior Director of National Strategy and Engagement at Boeing South Carolina Lindsay Leonard, said.

Fundraising efforts will continue until December.

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