The Ebb & Flow BLOG

Unveiling the Willie McRae & Kathy Britzius Oyster Reef

On Wednesday, June 5, Lowcountry Land Trust had the pleasure of participating in the creation of the Willie McRae and Kathy Britzius Oyster Reef at Boone Hall Plantation. Recycled oyster shells from the 2024 Lowcountry Oyster Festival, presented by the Charleston Restaurant Foundation, were collected and prepared by the Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for the reef build.

More than four decades ago, a special bond was formed between Willie McRae, the late owner of Boone Hall Plantation, and Kathy Britzius, the late executive director of the Charleston Restaurant Association (Foundation), marking the inception of the renowned Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall Plantation. This collaborative effort expanded each year, incorporating new organizations and initiatives dedicated to raising awareness and promoting sustainability for the beloved mollusk.

Lowcountry Land Trust placed a conservation easement on Boone Hall Plantation’s nearly 600 acres in 2019. The new Willie and Kathy Oyster Reef along Horlbeck Creek highlights the connection between culture, community, and conservation in the epicenter of one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing cities.

Photo credit: Robert Smith from The Chart Group, courtesy of Boone Hall Plantation