A heightened


The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy is dedicated to increasing our understanding of the natural and cultural environment of the Lowcountry. From biological and archaeological studies by Ph.D.-level scientists to the “citizen science” bluebird survey, the Conservancy team is actively involved in a number of research initiatives at the Bluff. Current projects include surveying alligator, turtle, white-tailed deer and bird populations; monitoring bald eagle nests; studying cavity-nest use and correlation with habitat; and analyzing artifacts from antebellum Pettigrew Plantation.

Environmental data is incorporated into the development conversation on an ongoing basis. This allows the Conservancy to maintain, manage and enhance the biodiversity at Palmetto Bluff. It is a project that, much like Mother Nature, will never stop.

Water Quality

Water Quality

As good stewards of the land, we too must protect the creek and river systems that surround our edges. Lagoon systems are designed to absorb runoff from homes and road systems to ensure there is drainage away from the creeks and rivers. To complete the cycle, we take our bodies of water that are catching runoff and naturalize them with aquatic vegetation and fish to be used for recreation and to kick-start a highly functioning freshwater ecosystem.



Palmetto Bluff has over 20 different habitat types. With that amazing diversity comes remarkable biodiversity. If a species lives in the Southeast, you will find it here, making Palmetto Bluff home to hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians.

Indicator Species

Indicator Species

Our research centers on the indicator species that are the first to be affected by development. We know that if our work affects an indicator species, other species will soon follow suit. Our current research is focused on bats, bluebirds, cavity-nesting species, swallow-tailed kites, insects (which are the base of the food chain) and small mammals.

Species of Concern

Species of Concern

Species of concern are those whose population are threatened, endangered or of high ecological importance. We work with state and federal wildlife agencies to ensure that these species — bald eagles, bats, wood storks and oysters — are not being displaced or disrupted.

Conservation / Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run 2023: A Celebration of Endurance, Nature, and Community

A Recap of the 2034 Buffalo Run The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, December 11, 2023, drawing in a record-breaking crowd of over 500 runners. The event, nestled in the heart of Palmetto Bluff's 20,000 acres of natural sp...

Dec 2023

Conservation / From The Ashes

Story and Photographs by Joel Caldwell I am driving through the predawn dark, trying to find the office of Jay Walea, the longtime Director of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy. It’s a warm morning in late May, my windows are down, and I’m listening to that pecu...

Nov 2023

Conservation / Water Way

Palmetto Bluff is an ecological wonderland, with its maritime forest and tidal rivers, its salt marsh and abundant wildlife. But perhaps one of the most unique features of this wedge of Lowcountry is the impressive inland waterway that wends through the landsc...

Aug 2023

Conservation / Behind the Bluff with Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Educator: Aaron Palmieri

Aaron’s Journey to the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy   In the heart of the Lowcountry, where lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems flourish, lies a hidden gem known as Palmetto Bluff. This breathtaking sanctuary serves as a haven for an array of wildlife, offer...

Aug 2023

Conservation / The Bluff - Turkey Trot

When I ask Jay Walea, the director of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, why he loves hunting turkeys, his response is quick and confident, as if the importance of the turkey was paramount. “A lot of people can go out at the right time in the season and make a tu...

Mar 2023

Conservation / Stewarding This Great Land

Stewardship: The art of taking care of something, such as an organization or property Steward: A person who takes care of something, such as an organization or property The simplicity of these definitions belies their importance. The Palmetto Bluff C...

Jan 2023

Conservation / 5 Best Places to See Winter Wildlife in the Lowcountry

Experience Winter Wildlife This Season The Lowcountry is a wondrous place to live, not only for its breathtaking scenery and historical significance but also for the wildlife that it inhabits. The winter wildlife in South Carolina includes a wide variety ...

Dec 2022

Conservation / Species Profile: Seminole Bat

Description Seminole bats (Lasiurus seminolus) are a medium-sized bat, measuring around 4.5 inches from head to tail with a wingspan of approximately 12 inches. They weigh between 8-15 g with females a little larger than males. This is about the sam...

Nov 2022

Conservation / Biking For Conservation

Palmetto Bluff resident, David Sebastian, has embarked on the trek of a lifetime - a 3,000-mile cross-country bicycle ride from San Diego to Palmetto Bluff. Riding solo, the six week journey will raise funds for two nonprofits close to David’s heart, one of wh...

Oct 2022

Conservation / The Magic of the Resurrection Fern

If you've ever wandered the streets of Palmetto Bluff and gazed up at our centuries-old live oaks, you probably noticed delicate green fronds creeping up and curling around the massive trunks and branches, carpeting the trees in a lush green coat. This iconic ...

Oct 2022

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