After the recent heavy rains that swept the Lowcountry, we can be glad of one of our favorite areas visited on our SINHG Trip schedule - the ACE Basin. This 350,000-acre estuary, less than an hour's drive south on Savannah Highway, serves as a huge sponge to absorb and store rainwater, just as our local marshes do to a lesser degree. The basin's acronymn is derived from the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto rivers which flow through the area before merging to form St. Helena Sound near Beaufort. The scores of secondary tidal creeks and tributaries that thread through this critical environment are popular kayaking sites for SINHG members, thanks to the 23 boat landings that dot this largely undeveloped area.
Known for its pristine marshes, wetlands, hardwood forests and riverine flora and fauna, the Basin's protected status is thanks to the efforts of combined public and private entities that, during the 1970's and 1980's, worked to secure funding, including more than $50 million in federal support for conservation efforts to maintain a healthy ecosystem under the guidance of the ACE Basin Task Force. The Ernest F. Hollings National Wildlife Refuge is one of many great locations for wildlife viewing, hiking and fishing. Learn more here, and join one of our kayaking trips for a unique Lowcountry perspective.