Author Posts

Dana Beach


Turtles and plastic, oil, motivated avoidance (again), and mayoral videos.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Folks, As Bo Petersen with the Post and Courier reports, the South Carolina Aquarium released four sea turtles last week after their successful recoveries in the Aquarium’s turtle hospital. One, by the name of Midway, had a prodigious amount of plastic in her stomach and would have died without intervention. I’m not sure how Midway, the turtle, got her name, but it is worth noting that the stomachs of 98% of the Laysan and…


Swamp canaries, swamped roads, better entrances, baby fish and baby gorillas

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Folks, Last week’s turbulent weather, with more than six inches of rainfall in one day, followed by days of violent lightening storms, makes the story of Long Shot seem even more miraculous. Long Shot, as Bo Petersen reports in the Post and Courier, is not a space capsule, or even Charleston’s acclaimed long distance swimmer, Kathleen Wilson, (who is swimming 24 miles from Trinidad to Tobago, as I write this post). Long Shot is…


Orchids, bicycles and Treemageddon on the Coffin Corridor.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Folks, This is a great time to explore the longleaf pine forests of the Lowcountry. Orange-fringed orchids, hooded pitcher plants, Marshallia grandifolia and other fall wildflowers are blooming. Mosquitos are taking a break. Birds are beginning to migrate. The temperature is delightful. Things couldn’t be more perfect. The best place to admire these native forests — among the most biologically diverse and the most threatened in North America — is the Francis Marion National Forest.


Pushing and pulling

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Folks, There’s been a lot of pushing this week and, fortunately, also some pushing back. In this article from the Post and Courier, Diane Knich reports that the Charleston Chamber of Commerce is now pushing another highway extension — this one the Glenn McConnell “Parkway” (which bears little resemblance to, say, the Blue Ridge Parkway). The Chamber feels this highway should plow through the Ashley River Historic Plantation District, skirt Summerville on the northwest…


Much ado about fish, red road herrings, curbing ocean acidity

Monday, August 10, 2015

Folks, Last week the media paid much deserved attention to the welfare of sea life. In this excellent piece in the Post and Courier, retired DNR biologist Charles Barans urges action to protect snappers and groupers in the face of persistent population declines. The solution, which has been frustratingly difficult to implement over opposition from the fishing industry, is one America pioneered more than a century ago — sanctuaries for resting and feeding. On land,…


Acres protected, solar energy tapped, documents dumped and bicycles deployed.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Folks,   This week’s news is about large numbers.  The first is 12,000 — the number of acres recently protected in Hampton County by The Nature Conservancy.  This is great news for the environment, but the details of the easement also illustrate the importance of conservation for economic goals.     First, as David…


Errors of omission

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Folks, This 9 minute PBS news video, “A Tale of Two Cities,” compares efforts by New York and Charleston to prepare for climate change, with a focus on sea level rise. In sharp contrast to aggressive planning and implementation of “resiliency” measures that could allow New York to cope with higher seas, Charleston has yet to acknowledge or confront the challenge. As the report notes, Charleston is by no means alone. Many coastal cities…


Love Conquers Hate, Amazing Grace, Singing Presidents

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Folks, The events of these last two weeks will undoubtedly be counted among the most important in decades. I suspect we will not fully understand their implications for years. President Obama visited Charleston on Friday to deliver a eulogy for Senator Clementa Pinckney. Senator Pinckney and eight of his parishioners were murdered last week in the sanctuary of his church, the historic Mother Emanuel AME on Calhoun Street.The president’s theme was grace. There could be no…


The second kick of a mule; DHEC punts on offshore; Sun City shines; Local food hub fever.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Folks, Strange bedfellows is the theme of the week on transportation. Five groups that don’t ordinarily jeehaw (to use a fellow conservationist’s favorite term) gathered in Columbia on Wednesday to express their agreement on the overriding importance of getting politics out of the road funding arena before raising the gas tax. The S.C. Policy Council, League of Women Voters, S.C. Campaign for Liberty, American’s for Prosperity and the Conservation League urged legislators to…


No slush funds this year, the hubris of bulldozers and offshore drilling, Isle of Palms steps up for the ocean.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Folks, The news of the week is that the S.C. Legislature has adjourned, abiding (perhaps unintentionally) by the principle “First, do no harm.” (This mandate, incidentally, originates from the Hippocratic school of philosophy, but is not part of the Hippocratic Oath.) In fact, the 2015 legislative session produced almost nothing. In the case of transportation funding (and a variety of anti-environment measures), this was a good thing. Both the House and the Senate had persistently refused…

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