Habitat Enhancement

volunteers planting button bushHabitat enhancement is an important aspect of our aquatic plant management plan for South Carolina.  Something as simple as keeping vegetation from becoming too thick around wood duck boxes, selective management of invasive species to allow natives to thrive again, and plantings of native species are viewed as habitat enhancement.  Bald cypress and buttonbush can be seen growing in several areas of Lake Murray, Giant cutgrass has been removed in areas of the Santee Cooper Lakes to provide access to areas closed for years, and Phragmites and water hyacinth is being treated in coastal South Carolina to provide better waterfowl and fisheries habitat.

The SCDNR-ANS Program strives to foster a diverse aquatic plant community through selective treatment of nuisance aquatic vegetation (to avoid adverse impacts to existing non-invasive plant species) and the introduction of desirable native plant species.

Waterfowl Enhancement in different areas of the state:
SCDNR & Santee Cooper

Water hyacinth/Water lettuce
30,214+ acres treated 

  • Cooper River-4290+ acres
  • Waccamaw River-755+ acres
  • Pee Dee River-238+ acres
  • Ashepoo River-1715+ acres
  • Lake Marion-12681+ acres
  • Black River- 250+ acres
  • Goose Creek Reservoir-3635+ acres
  • Back River Reservoir-6365+ acres
  • Others-513+ acres

Phragmites (since 1994)
15,674+ acres treated  

  • Santee Coastal-12038+ acres
  • Yawkey Center-1155+ acres
  • Sandy Island-18+ acres
  • Baruch Property-604+ acres
  • Other areas- 1876+ acres

Giant Cutgrass (since 1991)
Santee Cooper
1475+ acres treated

Lake Murray Habitat Enhancement Project

We continue to participate with our Freshwater Fisheries Section providing manpower to distribute Christmas trees for the fish attractor sites.  We are also open to partnerships with SCE&G and other private groups to coordinate and plant more areas in the future. In the past the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina Electric and Gas, along with local groups, have joined forces to establish native aquatic plants on designated shores of Lake Murray as part of a joint effort to reduce shoreline erosion and improve fish and waterfowl habitat. This is an important part of our overall aquatic plant management effort on the lake.  Some aquatic vegetation is good for the lake because it protects the shoreline from erosion and provides good fish and waterfowl habitat. Unfortunately, most people only hear about problematic invasive plants such as hydrilla.Joe @ planted cypress site

Plantings to date: