For decades, a collaborative mix of preservation groups and conservation organizations have worked to protect this irreplaceable natural resource. While most associate the river with plantations of national renown – Middleton, Magnolia, and Drayton Hall– public agencies, conservation groups, and private landowners have been working to protect valuable and strategic parcels within this watershed. Lowcountry Open Land Trust has enjoyed substantial conservation success along the Ashley holding over 15 conservation easements on the river. In addition, the Land Trust has also had the great fortune of owning and permanently protecting over 1100 acres of marshland. In doing so future generations will enjoy this iconic lowcountry landscape that imbues our unique sense of place.
Recently, our Stewardship staff took to the water to survey the scene, collect data and photograph the ever changing landscape. Stewardship along the Ashley River can be a strenuous and taxing job but somebody’s got to do it. A day on the water typically consists of observing the marsh edge, where neighborhoods adjoin the marsh as well as along the river and documenting any natural or manmade changes. After a full day of monitoring this scenic lowcountry landscape it is gratifying to see that community conservation efforts are well established along the Ashley.
There is more conservation opportunity on the horizon. The Land Trust is actively working with Drayton Hall on additional protections around this historic landmark. And in partnership with American Rivers we are exploring opportunities to raise the Ashley’s status to that of a scenic blueway so that more residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to access, paddle and enjoy this remarkable river resource.
Submitted by: Team Stewardship, Garrett James Budds, Helen K. Rogers and Robert Strange