To help nature thrive by protecting and restoring the natural environment within our conservation areas.


To restore and preserve our maritime forest through education, engagement and fundraising activities.

Strategic Focus 2020-2021

The restoration and preservation of the maritime forest.

The Dewees Island Conservancy is a 501c3 corporation focusing on habitat restoration on Dewees Island. We help nature thrive by protecting and restoring the natural environment within the conservation areas of Dewees Island. We have established partnerships with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Ducks Unlimited (DU), Audubon South Carolina, and the Dewees Island POA to enhance wetlands on the island. We also participate in outreach programs with Friends of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Our board of Directors includes volunteer island residents.

Large scale habitat enhancements began with Old House Lagoon, also known as the impoundment. This 120 acre managed wetland is a valuable resource that provides habitat for many wetland-dependent wildlife species, including migratory and wintering birds, crabs, shellfish, and estuarine fish. We then moved on to Lake Timicau, re-engineering the wetland to provide for better circulation of fresh water and recruitment of marine species to provide feeding and resting grounds for migratory shorebirds.

We have also worked to enhance the maritime forest ecosystem on the island. Alive with freshwater wetlands and myriad native plants and trees, this rare biome supports a wide diversity of resident and transient wildlife. We focus on invasive species eradication and research, as well as documentation and understanding of what’s currently there.

In 2019, we have expanded our research to include a MOTUS tower to track migratory species, and continued our painted bunting research project. We are excited to announce a new partnership with the Atlanta Coyote Project to monitor and research our recently arrived coyote population.

The Dewees Island Conservancy sponsors summer interns, some of whom work both on Dewees and within Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge to help endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Others work to educate our guests about our fragile habitat. This summer we have a full time coyote intern. Island students can volunteer for our Youth Conservation Ambassador Program to provide services to aid in the protection of habitat or individual species, as well as providing educational opportunities to residents about the Conservancy’s projects and mission.

Click here for the Board of Directors