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Life in a Certified Sustainable Community

Posted 02/05/2021

Residents know of Seabrook Island’s natural beauty well and have long taken pride in our efforts to preserve this environment. As a private oceanfront community, we want our hidden gem to continue to grow and flourish for years to come. This past December marked the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA)’s 3rd anniversary as the first private community in South Carolina to earn the Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community designation. You may ask, “What does this certification mean, and why is it such a significant achievement for Seabrookers?” Read on to find out!

Seabrook SC: A Sustainable Oceanfront Community

Seabrook Island Audubon CertificationLife in an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community

Audubon International has been a global leader in environmental sustainability certification for more than 30 years.

With programs in 34 countries to date, Audubon’s mission is to educate and facilitate the creation of practical yet environmentally responsible communities. With a focus on the scientific application of long-term sustainability initiatives, Audubon works with nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the general public to develop cohesive strategies for environmental conservation.

Audubon International provides training, services, and award-winning environmental education programs for the individuals, organizations, and communities involved to meet these goals.Each Audubon certification consists of a partnership with community leaders to employ and uphold a rigorous set of standards. In 2017, Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) became only the sixth community in the world to achieve an AI Sustainable Community certification.

The Audubon International organization requires extraordinary achievement in five different categories for its Sustainable Community Certification. The three main sustainability pillars are a healthy environment, economic vitality, and high quality of life for community residents. Seabrook Island worked closely with environmental management experts, sustainability researchers, and members of our own Seabrook Island community to meet and exceed Audubon’s standards in the following ways.

1 – Site Assessment and Environmental Planning

Seabrook’s Oyster Catcher Community Center was fully refurbished between 2016 and 2017 to become a more sustainable and safe facility. Eco-friendly sail shades were added to the Lake House pool to eliminate the waste and cost of umbrella replacement and better protect our guests from harmful UV rays. In 2016, LED and dark sky lighting replaced fluorescent and incandescent light fixtures to increase efficiency and reduce light pollution. If you have ever walked over to North Beach or Pelican beach, you may have noticed the quality of the material used in our boardwalk. Seabrook Island used ironwood decking, which lasts up to three times longer than traditional lumber, decreasing the number of replacements.

2 – Wildlife and Habitat Management

Seabrook Island won the “2016 Best Restored Beach Award” from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. To maintain the beautiful sandy beaches, Seabrook Island must periodically dredge across the Kiawah Island channel. This was last accomplished in 2015, and a new fund has been established for future maintenance. The SIPOA Environmental Committee meets monthly to promptly and openly address other sustainability initiatives and community concerns.

3 – Water Management

In addition to our proactive efforts to preserve our ocean, marshland, and tidal creeks, keeping them clean of harmful pollutants and other litter, the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association aims to conserve our water. Seabrook Island irrigation devices have been fitted with smart controllers and sensors to limit water waste. Progressive development plans to line necessary drainage pipes with fiberglass will prolong the drainage system’s life, reduce waste, and increase water conservation.

4 – Natural Resource Management

Established over two decades ago, the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy (SIGSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to obtain properties and easements that facilitate the preservation of substantial green space and habitats, vast wildlife species, and protection of the natural beauty of our island. Through generous donations of Seabrook Islanders, the Conservancy has 28.2 acres protected in perpetuity. The Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy donated 1.59 acres to SIPOA as open space for our residents to sustainably grow produce. Along with the SIGSC organization, Seabrook also proudly hosts several active special interest groups dedicated to the conservation of our beautiful oceanfront community, including the Seabrook Island Birders, the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol, and the SI Natural History Group.

5 – Outreach and Education

One of our most important efforts is outreach and conservation education. The willingness and cooperation of our community have allowed us to make such significant strides of progress. With help from Audubon International, the SIPOA, and more than thirty active Seabrook Island community groups, we host various environmental and sustainability meetings and initiatives throughout the year. Seabrook Island is also actively involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program to raise awareness about keeping our community clean. To promote a higher quality of living for our residents, all Seabrook Island properties are also designated smoke-free areas.

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf

Seabrook Island Audubon Golf CertificationRecognized by the South Carolina Golf Association as the 2019 Club of the Year, Seabrook Island Club is home to two world-class golf courses – Ocean Winds and Crooked Oaks. Both have earned national acclaim for their scenic fairways and challenging play. Still, even avid golfers may not realize the measures that have been taken to maintain the courses’ natural trademark Seabrook beauty. Besides our community-wide conservation efforts, we have worked to earn our reputation as a first-class golfer’s paradise.

Seabrook Island Club has held an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf certification since 1996. A cooperative program between the United States Golf Association and Audubon International, this designation recognizes Seabrook Island Club’s efforts toward environmental conservation, habitat management, outreach, chemical use reduction, water conservation, and water quality management. This collaboration marked the beginning of Seabrook Island’s relationship with Audubon International. The Seabrook Island Club’s ACSP Golf certification marked the first South Carolina certification ever awarded by the environmental organization. Almost two decades later, the entire town of Seabrook followed suit, setting another South Carolina milestone and achieving another Audubon certification.

Are you interested in becoming a part of our unique oceanfront community? We have so many stunning properties for you to choose from. Visit our website to learn more or contact one of our Seabrook real estate agents today.

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