At a Glance

A comprehensive review of an updated Land Management Plan for the Town of Sullivan’s Island ensures the longevity of ecosystem health and the sustainable best use of 190 acres of accredited land explored by locals and vacationists alike.

Project Description

Hugging the mouth of Charleston Harbor, Sullivan’s Island is a popular tourist destination and home to 2,200 people. Unlike most barrier islands, which experience erosion caused by sea level rise and increasingly frequent and intense storms, Sullivan’s Island has the advantage of an accreting beach. Over the last several decades, the island has gained hundreds of acres of beach. Seeking guidance on how to best manage town-owned accreted land while also protecting nearby infrastructure and ecosystem services, the Town of Sullivan’s Island turned to Biohabitats for help in updating its 2010 Accreted Land Management Plan.

Biohabitats began by conducting a thorough review and evaluation of the 2010 plan. The team then compiled recent and emerging science, reviewed management actions and their consequences over a nine-year period, conducted site visits, and reviewed available GIS maps, aerials, and vegetation. Biohabitats led a design charette with residents and experts from comparable beachfront towns, synthesized recommendations, and presented recommendations for six distinct management zones to the public and Town Council.

This work contributed to Town’s discussion about protecting accreted land that is enjoyed and used by residents and visitors, providing a professional ecological perspective on sustainable best practices for land management that maintains practical, aesthetic, and recreational opportunities.



Southeast Atlantic

Physiographic Province

Cooper River


Coastal Plain

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Coastal, Conservation, Research & Development


Town of Sullivan's Island


Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, United States

Project Team
  • Coastal Science & Engineering
  • Sabine & Waters
  • Permar Inc.
  • Design Works