Green Initiatives & Environmental History for: South Carolina
Following exploration of the coast in 1521, the Spanish tried unsuccessfully to establish a colony, and the French also failed. The first English settlement was made in 1670.
South Carolina, officially separated from North Carolina in 1729, was the scene of extensive military action during the Revolution and again during the Civil War. Germans and Swiss, arriving in the 1730s and 40s, and Scotch-Irish and other migrants from Virginia and Pennsylvania, arriving in the 60s, settled the colony’s lower middle country and uplands. South Carolina ratified the federal Constitution in 1788, and replaced the royal charter with a state charter in 1790.
Principal trees of South Carolina include balsam fir, beech, yellow birch, pitch pine, and cypress, several types of maple, ash, hickory, and oak. Longleaf pine, mixture of moss and lichens are found across the state. 20 plant species are now listed threatened or endangered, including smooth coneflower, black spored quillwort, pondberry and persistent trillium.
Mammals include white-tailed deer, black bear, opossum, gray and red foxes, cottontail and marsh rabbits, mink, and woodchuck. Varieties of raccoon are indigenous.
22 animal species are listed as threatened and endangered, including the Indiana bat, Carolina heelsplitter, bald eagle, five species of sea turtle, and shortnose sturgeon.
CAROLINAgreen Sustainable Initiatives include: significant reductions in emissions; a new biomass facility uses a gasification system that turns an abundant supply of renewable biofuels into steam by superheating wood rather than burning it. This reduces dependence on traditional energy sources, and stabilizes energy costs at predictable rate.
Other energy-saving initiatives include: water conservation, lighting retrofits, use of photovoltaic solar panels, energy plant upgrades, steam leak repairs, and chiller plant optimization.
The University of South Carolina has a strong recycling program in place. Their efforts include addition of numerous cardboard collection sites, office paper collection roll carts, and recycling bins for glass, aluminum, and plastic. Fluorescent light tubes are recycled to keep mercury out of landfills. More than 75% of construction and demolition debris is recycled. The ultimate goal is to eliminate waste; creating less waste means creating less material to be recycled.
Water conservation and management are other focus areas. Improved landscaping has increased the efficiency of water usage and limited runoff from rain and storm water.