HILTON HEAD AUDUBON SOCIETY – SUN CITY BIRD CLUB – FRIPP AUDUBON
Beaufort County Nature Facts
- South Carolina has the largest area of undisturbed marshes on the Atlantic coast and half of the state’s salt marshes are located in Beaufort County.
- Beaufort County is comprised of over 50% water and wetlands.
- Beaufort County has some of the highest tidal fluctuations on the east coast due to its geographical location, which allows for the constant flushing of the marshes, helping to create an extensive pristine environment.
- The large fish and animal populations supported by Beaufort County’s aquatic habitats are an important part of the local economy and culture. These habitats support not only important seafood species, but also large numbers of boaters and kayakers. As for beaches, Hunting Island is the most visited South Carolina State Park with over a million visitors per year.
- Over 400 bird species can be seen in South Carolina; and Beaufort County has over 182 species that are permanent residents, seasonal visitors, or passing through along the Atlantic Coastal Flyway, which brings large numbers of migrating birds to the area. Beaufort County also has a number of endangered species breeding populations, such as the Least Tern and Wilson’s Plover, as well as dozens of species that are on the United States Watch List.
- Birding is the number one sport in the nation. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, there are 51 million birders in the United States and that number is growing.
- There are over 1,400 small marsh islands in Beaufort County known as “hammocks”, which provide critical habitat for birds and animals, and serve as stopover points for migrating birds.
- The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Program has by referendum purchased 34 sites to protect property for conservation, passive parks, buffers, and scenic vistas, and for preservation of valuable economic and natural resources, all of which serve as wonderful habitats for birds and wildlife.