Annual Highlights

2017

  • Supported the EBSP Loggerhead Sea Turtle project which this year saw 153 nests laid, which was down from last year’s record of 240. Fortunately, Hurricane Irma visited us after the nesting season was mostly complete and we lost only 9 nests due to the storm. The cyclical nature of sea turtle nesting may have accounted for much of this decline. The good news was that the emergence success rate was 83%, which was the highest in the nine years of recorded data and one of the highest among the beaches of the eastern coast. This past year we had 12,539 hatchlings!
  • Increased FRESPACE membership 173 to 293 (an increase of 69%) through a strong emphasis on local recruitment and solicitation of corporate sponsors (Edisto Watersports & Tackle, Charleston Fossil Adventures, The Edistonian, Edisto Landscapes). Our renewal rate continues to be strong.
  • Provided volunteer support for Turtle Fest held in conjunction with EBSP staff to entertain and educate about sea turtle (and other turtle) biology.
  • Through our group dubbed the Blowhards, regularly cleared debris from and blew off the Park trails helping make them, as attested by SCPRT personnel, among the best maintained in the SC park system. Added the Forest Loop trail to those previously being maintained.
  • Generated $1,602 in revenue through the sale of Turtle Nightwalk T-shirts to help fund turtle related projects, which was the highest of the four years of this project. The nightwalks were held three nights per week June through July.
  • Through those sales and membership contributions, funded the following projects:
    • Repairs to the turtle golf cart and to the Blowhards’ cart and blower
    • Turtle-friendly red filter flashlights for turtle nightwalks
    • Bird seed for the ELC bird sanctuary
    • A hot water heater for the Environmental Learning Center classroom/lab
    • Membership for FRESPACE/EBSP in the Edisto Chamber of Commerce
    • Purchase of “I Survived” T-shirts
    • Replenishment of FRESPACE rack cards and purchase of FRESPACE decals
  • Continued to develop our communication to our membership and those who are visiting or planning to visit the Edisto Beach State Park though our semi-annual newsletter, our improved website at www.frespace.org, and our Facebook account. Included a link on the website to Edisto weather information. We currently have 3,108 followers on Facebook and are averaging 184 views/month (258 in March) on our website.
  • Redesigned the rack cards and distributed to many local businesses.
  • Designed and purchased FRESPACE decals to help promote awareness of the organization.
  • Worked with the Chamber to increase our visibility in the Chamber’s Edisto Island Guide, which was published in the spring and will continue in this year’s edition.
  • Supported new alligator/land turtle exhibit for the Environmental Learning Center.
  • Installed and then removed fencing to protect shorebirds during the nesting season.
  • Planted 1,500 sea oats and bitter panicum plants to protect our dunes from erosion.

Looking Ahead (many needs have been created by Hurricane Irma)

  • Continue the emphasis on increasing membership through local recruiting.
  • Increasing volunteerism. Some of the opportunities we foresee, in addition to those traditionally supported, include:
    • Additional work clearing the edges of the trails from branches and smaller limbs.
    • Erecting sand fencing on the newly established dunes along the beachfront campground.
    • Planting sea oats and other native vegetation on those dunes.
    • Participating in a SCORE (South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement) project to place recycled oyster shells along the area of the original shell mound.
  • Watch our website, Facebook, and your email for notice of these and other volunteer opportunities.

2016

  • Supported the EBSP Loggerhead Sea Turtle project which this year saw a record of 240 nests laid (compared the previous record set last year of 178 nests).
  • Increased FRESPACE membership through an increased emphasis on local recruitment and solicitation of corporate sponsors.
  • Provided volunteer support for Turtle Fest.
  • Generated $1,140.77 in revenue through the sale of Turtle Nightwalk T-shirts to help fund turtle related projects.
    • Lowcountry animal decals for the ELC
    • Repairs to the turtle golf cart
    • Bird seed for the ELC bird sanctuary
    • ELC Touch tank Plexiglas backdrop
    • Display upgrades for new ELC animal tanks
    • Purchase of “I Survived” T-shirts
    • Additional screens to protect sea turtle nests from predation
    • A GPS to precisely record sea turtle nest locations
  • Made a concerted effort to improve our semi-annual newsletter; improved and launching a Facebook account.
  • Co-hosted with McConkey’s and Edisto United a Business After Hours event in January. Also worked with the Chamber to our visibility in the Chamber’s Edisto Island Guide.
  • Regularly cleared debris from and blew off the Park trails helping make them, as attested by SCPRT personnel, among the best maintained in the SC park system.
  • Supported new aquarium for the Environmental Learning Center.
  • Helped fund a new projector for the ACE Basin video in the in Learning Center.
  • Added the capability of paying for FRESPACE dues (and other contributions) via PayPal.

2015

  • Display upgrades for the new aquarium tanks
  • Touch tank plexi-glass backdrop
  • Tires and repairs for Turtle Patrol Golf Cart
  • Projector and screen for ELC video room
  • Lumber to replace the bridges on the Bache Monument Trail and handrails on the boardwalk along the Scott Creek Trail
  • Bird seed for the ELC bird sanctuary
  • Replacement for tankless water heater in the ELC
  • Turtle probes, pickets, and other supplies for the turtle project
  • Lowcountry animal decals for Enviornmental Learning Center (ELC)

2014

  • Purchased “I survived….” t-shirts for turtle walks as a fundraiser.
  • Allocated up to $350 per year for bird seed for Environmental Learning Center (ELC) bird sanctuary.
  • Authorized up to $300 for replacement for the small tankless water heater under the sink in the ELC aquarium room.
  • Allocated $78 for FRESPACE to become a non-profit member of the Edisto Chamber of Commerce. This will give the Edisto Beach State Park (EBSP) and FRESPACE increased publicity for events and initiatives.
  • Funded the repair of the ELC water cooler.
  • Authorized up to $150 to install a sight barrier around the ELC rain barrels.
  • Allocated $100 for food items for the 2014 Beach/River Sweep.
  • Funded $314.08 for sea turtle nest probes and other project materials.
  • Allocated up to $1000 to purchase materials to widen boardwalks and to repair metal fence on Scott Creek Trail boardwalk.

2012-2013

  • Funded $1500 towards the $3500 cost to replace golf cart for the turtle patrol. The cart is a one-year old, fully refurbished Club Car with an aluminum frame.
  • Funded a live Leyland Cypress tree for the ELC Christmas season. The tree was planted in front of the ELC after Christmas.
  • Allocated up to $1000 to acquire the first order of t-shirts for sale at turtle night walks. This paid for itself and returned a profit.
  • Allocated $100 for food items for the annual Beach/River Sweep.
  • Funded $75.00 for a new salinity meter.
  • Funded $112.00 for the pH temperature meter.
  • Funded $84.48 for two 100’ hoses, racks and nozzles at the ELC boat walkway.
  • Covered the $275 cost to repair the broken fence posts around the Bache Monument.