There’s no question about it, one of the main draws of a beach house Charleston is the beach.
Or course then you can add in the charms of Charleston. Throw in the natural beauty of the Lowcountry, the courtesy of the locals. Add in great food and fascinating culture around these parts. No wonder the beach near Charleston are so popular.
But back to the beach. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep it clean, safe and in good condition. The same is true of the wildlife in the waters nearby.
Inside your IOP beach house, you’ve probably seen the notices about Lights Out for Loggerheads. Many of our luxury beach homes are oceanfront. As a guest, you are asked an important thing. Please do not to have any exterior lights on at night during the turtle nesting season. That’s because loggerhead and other turtle hatchlings get turned around and think they are heading out to sea, under the moon’s reflection.
For the same reason, you also shouldn’t use flashlights on the beach at night, including those on cell phones.
More ways to help the beach
You are also asked not to dig large holes in the sand. If you do, you should fill them in before heading back to your beach house for the night. Large holes pose hazards not only to sea turtles but to human beings walking the beach after dark. This is especially true if they’re obeying the nighttime beach rules and not carrying a flashlight!
Littering has become an issue on the beach here on the Isle of Palms, particularly during peak season (aka NOW). As a result, a band of dedicated locals has organized a weekly beach cleanup on Mondays this summer. It involves 30 minutes to an hour of cleaning up the IOP beach. This is followed by a fun social time – discounts and specials at a nearby establishment for those who participate. I wrote about it in this blog.
Well, it’s proven to be quite popular. Not only that, it’s also having a positive ripple effect on area people and businesses.
Coconut Joe’s, a fun and festive food fixture on Front Beach, has taken the lead in a plastic straw ban. These are notorious for causing a problem for sea life. Check out that viral video of people trying to extract a large plastic straw from a poor suffering loggerhead turtle. It’s heartbreaking and will make you never choose a plastic straw again.
Susan Hill Smith, a key member of the IOP cleanup crew, posted the following on social media a couple weeks ago. It’s really worth a read…
Cool news about the IOP beach…
Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew is teaming up with partners for a July 30 Front Beach “super sweep” that will also celebrate Coconut Joe’s decision to phase out plastic straws in its oceanside restaurant.
Charleston Surfrider Foundation and Coastal Conservation League will join Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew, which has been staging a weekly Front Beach trash cleanup with a social component Monday evenings during the summer. The public is invited, and anyone who wants to join in can help. Sign-in for the hour-long sweep will be on the beach starting at 5:30 p.m. at the public walkover by Coconut Joe’s, which will host this week’s gathering with discounts. Volunteers only need to clean up for half an hour before joining the after-party.
With guidance from Surfrider, Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew kicked off its sweeps June 25, with plans to continue the sweeps through Labor Day. Around 50 to 100 volunteers have shown up each Monday, and crew organizers expect a boost in participation July 30 with Surfrider and CCL pulling in their supporters. The South Carolina Aquarium will also be on hand to encourage volunteers to track trash collection, which they can do with a special app or old-fashioned pen and paper.
“This sweep is about bringing people together to share information and, ultimately, change habits to create and sustain cleaner beaches here on Isle of Palms and worldwide,” says Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew Co-organizer Katrina Limbach.
Surfrider is an an international non-profit working to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Charleston Surfrider Vice Chair Olivia Bueno is excited about the group’s involvement in the July 30 sweep and the added help from CCL.
“Collaborating with different organizations allows us to reach beyond our normal capacity and come together as a community to raise awareness on the marine debris issue we are facing in the Lowcountry,” Bueno says. “When volunteers see firsthand the abundance of plastic litter on our beaches, it helps reiterate the importance of rising against plastics and instills a behavior change to refuse single-use plastics, especially plastic straws.”
Coconut Joe’s steps up…
Coconut Joe’s decided to join the wave of businesses ditching plastic straws with encouragement from Charleston Surfrider. Surfrider is in the second year of a local “Strawless Summer” push that also encourages consumers to go without. For Coconut Joe’s, the transition started in mid-July and will be permanent, not just a summer thing, according to Caitlin West, chief of operations for the main restaurant as well as Joe’s To Go and Island Joe’s next door.
“We are not offering any straws voluntarily. They have to be requested. If someone needs a straw, we will provide a paper straw for a nickel. A portion of all of our straw sales is going to Surfrider,” explains West, daughter of Coconut Joe’s owner, Joe Petro.
While there have been some complaints, she says, most of the feedback so far has been positive. She intends to press further in making Coconut Joe’s more eco-friendly, for example, eliminating all plastic cutlery. After all, the Coconut Joe’s family considers the ocean to be their home, too. “Any little bit to keep it clean, to get it cleaner than it already is, and reduce our impact is very important to us.”
So please do your part to help preserve the beach and wildlife in South Carolina. And when you are looking for the perfect beach house, be sure to give Exclusive Properties a call.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger