‘Restoring Two South Carolina Bays with Rare Plants’, by Lisa Lord and Sudie Thomas
Carolina Bays are a fascinating and vital phenomenon of the Atlantic Seaboard, mainly found along the boundary between North and South Carolina. These bays were discovered in the 1930s when aerial photography came into existence. Oval in shape and ranging in length from a few hundred feet to up to 6 miles these depressions have been found to be valuable habitat for our most rare plants and animals. Estimates reveal that at one time as many as 2.5 million Carolina Bays existed. Unfortunately, most have been drained or otherwise obliterated by agriculture and/or logging. How they came into existence, all the same shape and positioned in the same northwest to southeast configuration, is still debated.
In 2018 SCNPS was able to acquire the Kingburg Bay located in Florence County. The Nature Conservancy acquired and passed on to the Society the Lisa Matthews Bay located in Bamberg County.
Lisa Lord, a certified Wildlife Biologist, is presently the Conservation Program Director for the Longleaf Alliance and she is also Chair of the Kingsburg Bay for the SCNPS. Sudie Thomas, Chair of the Lisa Matthews Bay is also a Wildlife Biologist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Both are longtime members of the SCNPS and have been involved have been involved in numerous land management, restoration, and conservation projects.