Natural resources in South Carolina are one of our most valuable assets. We have miles of beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain ridges and vistas, winding and serene rivers and waterways, swamps, wetlands and forests of national renown.
The health of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of our natural environment, which provides valuable ecosystem services. Those services include mitigating flooding and providing wildlife habitat for recreational and commercial uses.
In addition to sustaining our economy, natural resources play an integral role in our spiritual and physical well-being by providing open spaces in which to recreate and rejuvenate, as well as maintaining healthy water quality and quantity.
Geography and conservation allow South Carolina's wildlife to punch above its weight. From abundant migratory and shore birds to sea turtles, from black bears to rare plants and salt marshes, continued protection of natural habitats and open spaces is critical to a healthy ecosystem.
Our wetlands, swamps and marshes provide buffer zones and water storage during flood events, recharge groundwater aquifers and sequester carbon and other pollutants. Our abundant rivers provide drinking water, as well as irrigation and industrial water sources.
Our lives and quality of life are increasingly dependent on the health of our ecosystems. As the impact of climate change intensifies, we have an obligation towards our children and their children to do everything we can to advance environmental protection and justice across our state.