Results and Accomplishments
The ACE Basin Project has protected over 160,000 acres of wildlife habitat from commercial and residential development since 1988. Over 50,000 acres are available for public use through two Wildlife Management Areas, two State Parks, a National Wildlife Refuge, and a National Estuarine Research Reserve. Over 70,000 acres are protected through conservation easements and the balance is protected through other measures.
The early stages of the Project concentrated on meeting the habitat protection goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in a defined 350,000 acre Focus Area. The original goal was to protect 90,000 acres by the year 2000. This goal was quickly met and the Task Force increased the goal and doubled the size of the the Focus Area. The mission of the Project has grown from protecting wetlands and waterfowl habitat to protecting the rural landscape of lower coastal South Carolina.
As the Project has matured, education has become another major goal of the Task Force. The Edisto Interpretive Center was opened in 2004 as part of the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Task Force is partnering with Charleston County Parks to create an exhibit on the ACE Basin at the CawCaw Inerpretive Center.
As the ACE Basin Project heads toward its 20th anniversary the Task Force continues to work toward creative, voluntary means to protect the natural resources of the lower South Carolina Coast.