Characterization of the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin, South Carolina

Assessment of Management Issues and Goals

Former intertidal swamp modified by human activity for use as rice fields

The identity of the ACE Basin is changing. What began as a concerted effort to protect ecologically significant habitat has, because of its success, evolved into a more comprehensive initiative. While on-going land protection efforts continue, there is now an added interest of deriving economic benefits from the area. Also, through the process of establishing the ACE Basin as an important wildlife and fisheries habitat area, we have attracted the attention of a much broader and more diverse population, nature-based tourists. The purpose of this section is to focus on existing and potential problems and issues in the ACE Basin.

Historically, the ACE Basin has been a working landscape which has been affected by many natural (hurricanes, fires, flooding) and anthropological impacts (rice cultivation, phosphate mining, forestry, farming, and development). Many acres of marsh and hardwood forests were destroyed to create rice fields. In fact, cultural impacts have not only contributed to the maintenance of the Basin's ecological integrity, they have been instrumental in shaping the Basin's character as well.