health insurance agent in Kiawah Island
Ask Us Anything!843-364-9155
Health Insurance Plans Made Easy and Affordable
Trying to find the right health insurance plan for you or your family can be a complex, often difficult task. Just trying to find the best carrier can be stressful and confusing on its own. That is why the Health Insurance Solutions Team was founded – to take the stress and confusion out of the health insurance process. Our goal is to help hardworking men and women find the best protection for their unique needs.
Unlike some health insurance brokers, we make every effort to learn about the kind of health insurance you really need. When you speak with an agent from The Health Insurance Solutions Team, know that we will never try to upsell you on a plan that you can’t afford. Instead, your knowledgeable, helpful health insurance agent in Kiawah Island will help you navigate the uncertain waters of the health insurance world. Once we understand the health insurance plan you need, we will explore your options. That way, you can leave our conversation feeling informed about your health insurance options and confident that you are making the best choice possible.
We are proud to have served people just like yourself for more than 15 years at the Health Insurance Solutions Team. We have helped countless individuals, families, and business owners find the coverage they need at a price that won’t send them into bankruptcy. If you know that you need health insurance but don’t know how to start or what to look for, we’ve got good news – you’re in the right place.
Do You Really Need Health Insurance?
Before we talk about the solutions that our health insurance broker in Kiawah Island provides, we should address the elephant in the room. Everyone regardless of age or health, can benefit from a health insurance plan. Even the healthiest of people want to maintain their health and have protection in the event of a catastrophe. One of the best ways to stay healthy and plan for unexpected events is to visit your doctor for an annual check-up. When you have a health insurance plan, these visits are often fully covered by your insurance carrier when you choose an in-network doctor. Without health insurance, you will be responsible for the full cost of any medical care – even routine check-ups with your primary care physician. If something horrible happens, and you don’t have health insurance, you may have to pay the full amount for the emergency care you receive. Even young, healthy individuals can benefit from the right health plan. After all, nobody plans on getting sick or injured, but bad things can happen to anyone. Something unexpected like a broken leg can cost more than $7,000 to treat when you don’t have coverage. A three-day stay in a hospital can cost upwards of $30,000. That can be an incredible amount of money to pay out of pocket. Having a health insurance plan set in place can help you get quality care at a much more affordable price, especially if something unforeseen happens.
Who We Serve
At the Health Insurance Solutions Team, our mission is to educate and empower our clients so that they can get the best access to medical care possible. Because everyone has their own unique set of needs when it comes to health plans, we serve a wide range of clients.
Individual plans, also called personal health plans, are health insurance policies that you can purchase solely for yourself. When you work with Health Insurance Solutions, your health insurance agent in Kiawah Island will go over your health plan options and help find the best fit for your needs. Individual health plans are not tied to your employer, so you can make a career change without having to worry about losing your health insurance. For individual plans, we offer major medical, short-term, and fixed benefit plans that include life, dental, vision, and other coverage options.
Finding the right health plan for your family can be a real challenge, but our experienced health insurance agents are here to help. We understand that not all members of your family will have the same needs. To help your family get the best coverage possible, we search for custom plans that will meet each of your family members’ needs. Whether you’re looking for major medical coverage or fixed-benefit plans with no deductibles, our experts are here to serve you. Common coverage options include vision, dental, life, STD and LTD, long-term care, and more.
Entrepreneurs have their own set of needs in terms of health plans and how much they can afford to spend on coverage. Once thought of as a small percentage of the workforce, 57 million Americans freelanced in 2019 alone, according to the Upwork and Freelancers Union. If you are a consultant, independent contractor, or freelancer, the Health Insurance Solutions Team will find a plan that caters to your current needs and future endeavors. Common health insurance plans for self-employed people include vision, life, dental, and stand-alone prescription coverage. We also offer major medical, supplemental, short-term, and fixed-benefit plans at a range of prices that you can afford.
Offering health insurance to your employees is one of the best ways to keep your team happy and attract diligent workers to your company. If you are a business owner who wants to provide health insurance to your employees but cannot do so because the cost of benefits is too high, worry not. Our experienced health insurance agents will work directly with your employees to help them find the coverage they can afford. We also offer hybrid plans that can be customized so that both you and your employee’s needs are met. Whether you need a major medical package or voluntary benefits only, the Health Insurance Solutions Team has got you covered. Common small business health insurance plans include life, LTC, medical, vision, 401K administration, and dental insurance.
If you travel regularly for business or pleasure, it pays to plan ahead and protect yourself. Because unexpected events happen all the time, you could lose a lot of money if your business trip or vacation is canceled at the last minute. Situations like this can be particularly concerning on international business trips and on long vacations. Whether you get sick before your trip or have valuables within your baggage stolen, traveler’s insurance can help minimize expensive cancelation fees and costs.
Most Popular Types of Coverage
Figuring out the kind of insurance you need is a crucial part of the health insurance process. Do you have a prescription for eyeglasses or contacts? Do you have a condition that requires you to visit the doctor on a regular basis? Health insurance plans change depending on what you need. At the Health Insurance Solutions Team, we will provide you with a trusted health insurance agent in Kiawah Island to help you choose the best plan for your budget.
Here are a few of the most popular types of coverage that our clients ask about:
This type of insurance covers minimum essential benefits and meets the standards of the ACA for family and individual coverage. Major medical insurance is a fantastic option to choose if you want to be sure all of your medical expenses are covered. Major medical plans usually cover ten essential benefits:
- Outpatient Procedures or Ambulatory Care
- Check-Ups and Preventative Care
- Prescription Medications
- Emergency Services
- Pediatric Care Services
- Laboratory Services
- Newborn and Maternity Care
- Addiction Counseling and Mental Health Care Services
If your goal is to cover a full range of care, major medical plans are often the best choice. We recommend you contact our office today to learn more about the major medical plan options available to you. As a licensed, private health insurance broker in Kiawah Island you do not need to wait until Open Enrollment to protect yourself with a major medical insurance plan.
From basic cleanings to complex procedures like root canals, dental work can be awfully expensive. When you have dental insurance, you will have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to pay for your procedure out of pocket. In general, a quality dental insurance policy will cover some or all of the following:
- Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
- Filling Cavities
- Bridges, Implants, and Crowns
- Root Canals and Repair Work
- Emergency Services Oral Surgery, etc.)
It should be noted that some types of dental equipment and services may be covered at higher levels of coverage. While preventative work like cleanings is typically covered, some procedures require out-of-pocket costs.
Usually purchased as an addition to your medical insurance, vision insurance helps cut back on costs associated with eye care Like dental insurance, vision insurance is great if you know that you will regularly visit the eye doctor or just want to protect yourself for a “worst case scenario.” In general, a quality vision plan will cover some or all of the following:
- Routine Eye Exams
- Medical Eye Care
- Vision Correction Products (Eyeglasses, contacts, etc.)
- Surgeries for Vision Correction (LASIK, etc.)
It should be noted that not all types of vision insurance will cover medical issues related to eye care. For instance, if your optometrist discovers a medical problem during your eye exam, they may refer you to a different doctor. While vision insurance may not cover all eye-related medical services, major medical health insurance often does.
It might be hard to imagine at this stage of your life, but as you age, there is a chance that you will need long-term care services. The question is, how will you or your loved ones pay for this kind of care? Many people choose to eliminate the burden of senior care by purchasing long-term care insurance. Services like meal preparation, medication assistance, and help with day-to-day activities like bathing are not covered by regular health insurance plans. Long-term care insurance will help you or your children lessen the expense of care when you have chronic medical conditions, dementia, or disabilities. When you speak to one of our health insurance agents, ask if you can purchase a policy that reimburses you when you receive care in the following locations:
- Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
- In a nursing home
- In your own home
- In an assisted living center
- At a long-term residential senior facility
Expert Help Is Only a Phone Call Away
We call ourselves the Health Insurance Solutions Team because we are committed to finding you the best, most affordable options for your health insurance needs. We work with all the major insurance carriers, such as:
- Advent Health
- United Healthcare
- National General
- Many More
Unlike some health insurance brokers who only care about making a sale, we don’t view you as a financial transaction. We believe that serving others never goes out of style. That’s why we prefer to educate you on your health coverage options so that you can make an informed decision. As your health insurance agent in Kiawah Island, we would be honored to help you seek out a plan that is the perfect fit for your life. You will receive the same excellent level of service whether you are a business owner with employees or a single individual.
When you’re ready to protect yourself and your family with quality health insurance, we will be here to help guide you along the way. Contact us today so that we may discover your insurance needs and provide you with a quality insurance solution that will give you peace of mind for years to come.
Latest News in Kiawah Island
Kiawah Island executive chef named 2022 ‘Chef Ambassador’ for South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A Lowcountry chef was named one of South Carolina’s ‘Chef Ambassadors’ during a special ceremony at the Statehouse Wednesday morning.Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hugh Weathers, and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish as they appointed three chefs to serve as South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2022.These chefs prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, support local...
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A Lowcountry chef was named one of South Carolina’s ‘Chef Ambassadors’ during a special ceremony at the Statehouse Wednesday morning.
Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hugh Weathers, and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish as they appointed three chefs to serve as South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2022.
These chefs prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, support local farmers and highlight the state’s rich food traditions.
“South Carolina Chef Ambassadors do South Carolina a great service by shining a light on our state’s destinations, signature dishes and locally grown foods, and their own incredible talents,” said Gov. McMaster. “We’re proud to have these three great chefs represent our state.”
Among them is Executive Chef John Ondo of The Atlantic Room on Kiawah Island.
Chef Ondo grew up playing in the tidal creeks of the Lowcountry, according to the governor’s office. It’s something he said left an indelible mark on him as he has spent his 20-plus-year culinary career drawing inspiration from the area’s fields and waterways.
It was here in Charleston where Chef Ondo developed long-lasting relationships with local farmers and fishermen. He often stops by to visit and discuss how crops are coming in and to pick up produce that will appear on plates that same night at The Atlantic Room.
“With his wry sense of humor and affable nature, Chef Ondo is a recognizable spokesperson for Lowcountry foodways,” said Gov. McMaster’s office.
Ondo accepted the honor along with fellow Chef Ambassadors, Chris Williams of Roy’s Grille in Lexington, and Haydn Shaak of Restaurant 17 at Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest.
“Man, had y’all told me all these cameras were gonna be here today I would have brushed my hair,” Ondo joked as he stepped before the podium, just seconds before First Lady Peggy McMaster reached up to brush his hair with her hand.
“This is a huge honor to be able to represent my home state and the hard-working farmers and fishermen and shrimpers, just producers of Carolina products,” he said. “This is a huge honor and I’m happy to be here.”
The governor’s office said the Chef Ambassadors, a program now in its eighth year, will represent South Carolina at food festivals, media events and other forums.
The program was created in 2014 to highlight the state as a top culinary destination. It unites agribusiness and tourism, two of the state’s largest industries, which together contribute tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year and account for hundreds of thousands of jobs statewide, according to Gov. McMaster’s office.
“These three talented Chef Ambassadors honor South Carolina’s diverse culinary heritage and local ingredients,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “Chefs connect with and promote our state’s farmers and help teach us all how to eat fresh, local food in season.”
“Our hospitality industry has been on a rollercoaster ride since March 2020,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “From shifting to a to-go model almost overnight, to navigating workforce challenges, to welcoming an influx of visitors as tourism began to rebound – they’ve really seen it all in a very short timeframe. The Chef Ambassador program highlights and celebrates some of the very best of what this resilient and tenacious industry has to offer, and helps showcase just how significant and extraordinary our culinary scene is in the Palmetto State.”
To learn more about the program and past Chef Ambassadors, visit discoversouthcarolina.com/chef-ambassadors.
Watch: Rare right whale mother, calf spotted off of Kiawah Island
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Two North Atlantic right whales were spotted recently off of Kiawah Island, brining the number of sightings of the endangered animal in Lowcountry waters over the past year to 19.JR McCroskey and his group of recreational fisherman saw the whales about 15 miles off of Kiawah Island on Christmas Eve.The sighting was confirmed to News 2 by The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN).The group first saw the baby come up for air, and couldn’t quite make out what it was.“I see what ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Two North Atlantic right whales were spotted recently off of Kiawah Island, brining the number of sightings of the endangered animal in Lowcountry waters over the past year to 19.
JR McCroskey and his group of recreational fisherman saw the whales about 15 miles off of Kiawah Island on Christmas Eve.
The sighting was confirmed to News 2 by The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN).
The group first saw the baby come up for air, and couldn’t quite make out what it was.
“I see what I thought was a piece of debris. As we got closer, I noticed some blowing going on kind of like dolphins do. I thought it might be a manatee,” said McCroskey.
When the mother whale surfaced, they realized what they were seeing.
“When a whale comes up that’s twice the size of the boat you’re in then you know exactly what you’re dealing with,” said McCroskey.
According to the LMMN, right whales are critically endangered, with less than 400 reported worldwide.
The most common dangers to right whales are boat propellers and fishing nets. Laws state that vessels must remain 500 yards away from them for protection.
“As soon as we got a picture of (the mother) and a video of her we pulled back and gave them the space they needed,” said McCroskey.
There are multiple documented incidents of whales being seriously injured after collisions with boats.
Given the dangers posed by humans, right whales tend to stay further offshore.
“While it’s not uncommon for right whales to be offshore this time of the year, it’s extremely rare to spot them because there are about 100 breeding females and they typically stay offshore,” said Lauren Rust, the founder of the LMMN. “Your chances of seeing them are greater offshore on a boat, but unlikely from shore.”
Rust says that the population is declining because there are very few breeding females and they can only reproduce once every three to four years.
“With approximately 100 breeding females, reproducing on different years, we see between zero and 25 new calves a year. But sadly, most years, more adults die than new calves are reproduced putting them in a negative decline,” said Rust. “I suspect we will see their extinction in our lifetime.”
McCroskey says that he wants to make sure people realize that right whales are living and calving in the waters from South Carolina to Florida until April.
“Just spreading the word out to the recreational fisherman that these whales are out there and you need to be conscientious because they can wreck a boat,” said McCroskey.
Movies and TV shows filmed in the Lowcountry you can watch right now
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Did you know the Lowcountry has been the backdrop for several popular movies and tv shows throughout the years?With winter weather expected to impact the area Friday evening, there’s never been a more perfect time to binge!Outer Banks (2020-present)This hit Netflix series follows a group of teens in a treasure hunt in the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina – which was actually set in the Charleston area. Some notable locations to look out for include Shem ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Did you know the Lowcountry has been the backdrop for several popular movies and tv shows throughout the years?
With winter weather expected to impact the area Friday evening, there’s never been a more perfect time to binge!
Outer Banks (2020-present)
This hit Netflix series follows a group of teens in a treasure hunt in the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina – which was actually set in the Charleston area. Some notable locations to look out for include Shem Creek, the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, Lowndes Grove, and Kiawah Island.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Righteous Gemstones (2019-present)
The second season of the popular HBO dark comedy just dropped on January 9, so there’s still time to catch up on the dysfunctional world-famous televangelist family that is constantly embroiled in scandal. Some notable locations to look out for include Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, North Charleston Coliseum, Citadel Mall, Berkeley Country Club, and so many more.
Where to watch: HBO and HBO Max with subscription
Southern Charm (2014-present)
Calling all Bravo fans! This reality series follows the lives of young socialites as they navigate everything the Holy City has to offer. While it may not offer the most accurate representation of life in Charleston, it serves up all the drama you’d expect from a Bravo show. Plus, every episode features local restaurants, shops, and small businesses.
Where to watch: Bravo website, Peacock, and Hulu Live TV with subscription
Army Wives (2007-2013)
This hit drama series originally aired on Lifetime and follows the stories of five military spouses living on a fictional South Carolina military base. The Old Charleston Naval Base served as the main backdrop for the show, but a few other spots around Charleston and North Charleston can be seen too.
Where to watch: ABC (free with cable) and Hulu with subscription
The Notebook (2004)
Probably the most well-known movie filmed in the Lowcountry, the Notebook is a whirlwind romance story based on a Nicholas Sparks book that stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Some notable locations to look out for include the American Theater, Cypress Gardens, and the Old Village in Mount Pleasant.
Where to watch: HBO Max and Peacock with subscriptions or rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Dear John (2010)
A story of star-crossed lovers, this movie starring Amanda Seyfriend and Channing Tatum is another based on a Nicholas Sparks book that uses the Lowcountry as its backdrop. The story follows a soldier who falls for a college student while home on leave so you can expect to see the College of Charleston and Citadel campuses make an appearance. Other notable locations to look out for include Bowen’s Island Restaurant, Sullivan’s Island, and the Gaillard Auditorium.
Where to watch: Netflix with subscription or rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Looking for something a little spookier? Try the latest installment in the Halloween movie series in which Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her iconic role and confronts her attempted killer, Michael Myers. There are even some Lowcountry natives who star in the film. Some notable locations to look out for include Military Magnet High School and the houses in Old Windemere neighborhood in West Ashley.
Where to watch: Rent the movie on Amazon Prime Video
The Patriot (2000)
This movie starring Mel Gibson is a two-for-one. Not only was it filmed in the Lowcountry, but it is also based on the true story of “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion. Francis Marion, a Berkeley County native, was a military officer in the Revolutionary War known mainly for his guerilla warfare tactics. Some notable locations to look out for in the movie include Randolph Hall, Botany Bay, and Middleton Place.
Where to watch: Netflix with subscription or for rent on Amazon Prime Video.
Phil Mickelson defied the odds, and his age, to win an epic PGA Championship at Ocean Course
As he jetted home that night from Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson popped the cork on a favorite vintage and tapped out a message on his phone.“Life is good,” Mickelson wrote, and it was so.Mickelson wrote the golf story of 2021 — and one of the best golf stories of all time — on the wind-swept Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in May. The 50-year-old, who was eight years removed from his last major title, became the oldest major champion in the sport’s history by winning the 103rd PGA Championship on Pet...
As he jetted home that night from Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson popped the cork on a favorite vintage and tapped out a message on his phone.
“Life is good,” Mickelson wrote, and it was so.
Mickelson wrote the golf story of 2021 — and one of the best golf stories of all time — on the wind-swept Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in May. The 50-year-old, who was eight years removed from his last major title, became the oldest major champion in the sport’s history by winning the 103rd PGA Championship on Pete Dye’s punishing 7,800-yard layout.
The six-time major champion played it cool all week, moving at a deliberate pace with his brother Tim on the bag, and hiding his emotions behind a pair of ever-present shades.
But there was no playing it cool for the thousands of spectators at Kiawah. After a year in which PGA Tour events were sparsely attended due to COVID-19, the floodgates seemed to open at Kiawah, especially when Mickelson emerged as a contender against a field stuffed with younger stars.
Mickelson fans shouted their support during the week, climbing into trees to get a glimpse of their hero and following him in droves.
On championship Sunday, the dam broke as Mickelson marched up the 18th hole toward victory. He and playing partner Brooks Koepka were swallowed up by thousands of delirious fans who flooded the 18th fairway in a memorable scene.
“Certainly one of the moments I’ll cherish my entire life,” he said after the triumph. “I don’t know how to describe the feeling of excitement and fulfillment and accomplishment to do something of this magnitude, when very few people thought that I could.”
Mickelson’s unexpected victory thrilled his competitors, as well.
“It was like the Phil that I remember watching just when I turned pro and it was great to see,” said South African Louis Oosthuizen, who tied for second with Koepka. “I mean, what an achievement to win a major at 50 years old, and he deserves all of that today.”
Phil’s highest finish on the PGA Tour for the rest of 2021 was a tie for 17th, though he won three times on the Champions Tour. The week after the PGA Championship, he missed the cut.
“But, I won the PGA,” he said with a grin. “So …”
How South Carolina’s Kiawah Island strikes a balance between tourism and conservation
From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier b...
From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.
But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier beachfront homes. Kiawah Island has solidified itself as one of the most eco-friendly residential areas and tourist destinations in the United States, with conservation efforts dating back nearly half a century. Visitors are the beneficiaries of these extensive efforts, and the island is a rare example of how tourism and ecological concern can coexist.
In 1973, Kiawah Island established the Kiawah Turtle Patrol, an organization that tracks and protects the island’s native population of nesting loggerhead turtles. Soon after, Kiawah Investment, a Kuwaiti-owned company, purchased the island from heirs to a lumber company operator and, in 1975, conducted an environmental inventory of the island over the course of 16 months, studying natural habitats, wildlife and archaeological history, said Donna Windham, executive director of the Kiawah Conservancy.
The widespread inventory led to a master plan, which has since been enacted by the town of Kiawah, that combines environmental activism with tourism and leisure. “It was a whole new environment for them,” Windham said of the Kuwaiti effort. “They took it very seriously that this island was special.” Today, Windham said, the Kiawah Conservancy operates as a nonprofit land trust for the island, encouraging the protection of the environment by working in conjunction with landowners.
The conservancy, established in 1997, can hold land and issue easements. It has, to date, preserved “2,273 acres of Kiawah’s 10,000 acres,” according to the island’s website. In January 2000, Windham said, 152 acres of land known as Little Bear Island — a nesting destination for coastal birds such as the piping plover, peregrine falcon and osprey — were preserved by the Wetlands America Trust, part of the Ducks Unlimited nonprofit conservation group. The easement was updated in 2007 to include protection from the trust and the Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy.
As a traveler, you may see no concrete indication of the infrastructure that governs the island’s conservation. Yet the influence is everywhere, evident in the clamoring hermit crabs at the shoreline, the robust oyster beds that climb upward on the riverbanks, and the petite raccoons that scale trees at dusk in search of their next meal.
Close to the island’s Ocean Course, where a strip of cerulean is just visible beyond the marsh, a passerby might be privy to any number of natural encounters: alligators with snouts just visible in the pond water; hook-necked blue herons staring out into the palmettos; white-tailed deer bedding down beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. These moments, despite their frequency, arrive as a surprise in a place where golf clubs and impeccable architecture are the local currency.
But you’re more likely than not to encounter a wild animal during your visit, and that’s because Kiawah Island includes 3,000 acres of tidal salt marsh and 10 miles of shoreline, providing shelter for a variety of wildlife. According to town of Kiawah Wildlife Biologist Jim Jordan — his position was created in 2000 and, eight years later, Assistant Wildlife Biologist Aaron Given arrived — there are 315 species of birds, more than 30 species of mammals, more than 40 species of reptiles, more than 20 species of amphibians, and thousands of invertebrates that call the island home.
“It’s pretty unique,” Jordan said. It is, he said, “a functioning, intact ecosystem that’s working the way it would have worked if there were no houses there.”
One of the island’s most fascinating predators is the bobcat; the current bobcat population, Jordan said, is between 15 and 20. Four to six bobcats are collared by the biology team each year, so their movements can be tracked via GPS. “Visitors and residents can look at the tracking maps online and see where they’ve been,” he said.
Take a boat out onto the serene Kiawah River — you can book tours through the island’s sole resort, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort — and you’re bound to see a dolphin or two, gray fin slipping in and out of the water. These are the island’s bottlenose species, and they’re friendly, tracking vessels and providing the occasional show, flippers aflight. They also engage in a unique behavior known as “strand-feeding.”
“In a coordinated effort, they will basically force a school of fish or a school of shrimp up toward the bank,” Jordan said. “They beach themselves.” The western end of the island makes for good viewing of this behavior, although he warned that disrupting dolphins during their strand-feeds can be harmful. “It’s a learned behavior,” passed down from generation to generation, Jordan said. Should a strand-feed get interrupted, dolphins could abandon the behavior entirely, thus keeping future generations from learning how to eat in this location-specific manner.
The serenity experienced on this island oasis is thanks to more than just the work of the conservancy. At the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, for instance, an AAA five-diamond resort that was built in 2004, live, mature oak trees were transplanted to help promote the maintenance of the natural environment. “This really wasn’t required. It was just something that we did voluntarily, because we thought it was the right thing to do,” said Bryan Hunter, director of public relations for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
The resort, he said, places a premium on conservation efforts, encouraging guests to immerse themselves in the local environment through organized boat trips to other barrier islands, alligator safaris and dolphin-viewing excursions. Visitors can also tag along with the Turtle Patrol in the morning in search of hatching and migration patterns (although that program has been greatly restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic). Some may even get to assist hatchling turtles, Hunter said. Those who join the Turtle Patrol outings look for nests, take notes and record observations about the year’s hatch.
One conservation effort enforced by island residents — including hoteliers — is the Lights Out for Sea Turtles initiative, which requires that beach-illuminating lights be turned off in the evenings during loggerhead nesting season. As Jordan pointed out, artificial light confuses hatchling turtles, often accidentally guiding them away from the ocean.
Low light pollution, Hunter said, is “vital.” “The resort, along with the rest of the island, through town ordinance, makes sure that we really carefully monitor light pollution along the beach, so that it doesn’t disorient nesting sea turtles or hatching sea turtles,” he said.
As the sun descends at dusk, there is a vibration in the air. Is it the cicadas, on their 17-year cycle? Or maybe just a faraway flock of birds? Whatever the origin of the ambient noise, it calls to mind a soothing bedtime melody, the kind you might slip into as you wind down into sleep.
Potential travelers should take local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC's travel health notice webpage.
This AAA five-diamond property has 255 guest rooms and suites, as well as multiple dining venues and direct beach access. Rooms from about $240.
Run by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, this 1.5-hour boat excursion takes guests through creeks and marshes in search of the island’s native bottlenose dolphin population. $450 for up to six passengers.
Situated on the west end of the island, this ocean beach offers the only public access on Kiawah. Amenities include lifeguards, chair and umbrella rentals, restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and a picnic area with grills. Parking $5 to $15 per vehicle.
Guests can ask resident wildlife biologists about the local ecology and visit with some of the native and nonnative species, such as diamondback terrapins and a 10-foot-long Burmese python. The center’s gift shop sells handcrafted items made by local artists. Free.
Walk or bike this one-mile scenic trail that extends over the marsh to a lookout tower. Part of the larger Kiawah Island bike trails system, which covers about 30 miles, this trail is suitable for all ages.
The Post’s best advice for living during the pandemic.