Lowcountry wildlife nurseries depend on federal money, cuts could harm key wetlands

March 7, 2011

By BO PETERSEN
bpetersen@postandcourier.com

Jason's Lake is a focal point of the state's extraordinarily popular Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area, a 50-acre saltwater pool roamed by trophy fish, a catch-and-release haven open to adults when they bring children.

It's one of the signature habitats that make the recently opened management area the most visited in the state, by far. More than 40,000 people turn out each year to wander the lake, woods, creek, salt marshes and maritime forest beach on Edisto Island, right at the edge of the Charleston suburbs.

"It's treated almost like a state park," said Phil Maier, coastal reserves director with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

There are 125 species of birds and animals at Bear Island WMA. But essential support that helps protect and preserve the area now is at risk. Read the full article