health insurance agent in West Ashley
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 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, 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 West Ashley 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. 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 West Ashley 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, 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 West Ashley 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 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 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, we will provide you with a trusted health insurance agent in West Ashley 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 West Ashley 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 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, SC
SC home sales dive to lowest level in 5 years
South Carolina home sales dipped to their lowest level in five years in January while prices went in the opposite direction.Residential transactions dropped nearly 32 percent last month compared to the same month a year ago, according to preliminary data from the S.C. Realtors Association.In January, 5,152 homes changed hands statewide, the lowest number since January 2019.Sales have now been down for 14 consecutive months across the Palmetto State. The median price, however, continued to climb, rising 7.7 percent to $30...
South Carolina home sales dipped to their lowest level in five years in January while prices went in the opposite direction.
Residential transactions dropped nearly 32 percent last month compared to the same month a year ago, according to preliminary data from the S.C. Realtors Association.
In January, 5,152 homes changed hands statewide, the lowest number since January 2019.
Sales have now been down for 14 consecutive months across the Palmetto State. The median price, however, continued to climb, rising 7.7 percent to $307,500. That’s about $22,000 more than January last year and $105,000 higher than in January 2019.
Rob Woodul, president of S.C. Realtors and an agent with Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, said the lower sales reflect a normalization of the market to 2019 numbers “from the craziness of the past couple of years” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also pointed out the December-February period is usually the slower time of year for home sales and looked to an uptick in the warmer spring-selling season, based on recent market activity of pending contracts.
For the year, Woodul predicted residential transactions will be “flat or a little above” 2019′s numbers. The higher cost of borrowing, persistent inflation and lack of available homes continue to hinder the market.
All 16 housing submarkets in the state reported double-digit sales declines, with some of the bigger metropolitan markets tumbling more than 30 percent from a year ago, just before the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to try to tame inflation.
Charleston, the state’s largest market by volume, posted a 36 percent drop in closings. Myrtle Beach, the second-largest market in terms of sales, slipped 29 percent. Columbia saw a decline of 30 percent while Greenville was down 31 percent.
Hilton Head slid 39 percent while Rock Hill dipped nearly 32 percent.
Pricewise, every metropolitan area in South Carolina posted increases from more than 4 percent to nearly 9 percent. Myrtle Beach saw a 16 percent surge over the same month a year ago. While sales were down in January, the median price came in higher at every submarket except the Anderson-based, three-county region in the state’s northwest corner.
As for rising prices, which continue to put homes out of reach for many would-be buyers, Woodul pointed out a simple axiom of economics.
“It’s supply and demand,” he said.
Housing inventory hasn’t kept up with those wanting to buy a home during the past decade because homebuilders are reluctant to overbuild after being burned during the deep recession of 2008, Woodul noted.
Across the state, Hilton Head Island continued to post the highest median price at $500,000. Charleston ranked second at $380,000 while Rock Hill, in the growing suburbs of Charlotte, came in third at $374,500.
Beaufort wasn’t far behind at $366,000, with Myrtle Beach showing $313,000 and Greenville at $300,000.
Several areas reported median prices between $250,000 and $300,000, including Aiken, Columbia, North Augusta and Spartanburg. Those between $200,000 and $250,000 were regional offices in Anderson, Gaffney, Greenwood and Sumter. Those below $200,000 included Florence and Orangeburg.
Along with elevated home prices is the higher cost of borrowing.
Home loan financier Freddie Mac reported Feb. 23 the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 6.50 percent. The average rate on a 15-year note rose slightly to 5.76 percent. Both rates were between 3 percent and 4 percent at this time last year.
“The economy continues to show strength, and interest rates are repricing to account for the stronger than expected growth, tight labor market and the threat of sticky inflation,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
Birds from nearby landfill causing chaos in West Ashley neighborhood
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – They’re in the sky, perched in trees, and on top of roofs.Birds of all types are flocking to the Grand Bees neighborhood in West Ashley. According to neighbors, they’re leaving behind a mess. Dead vultures found in West Ashley positive for avian flu, cannot be removed “A...
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – They’re in the sky, perched in trees, and on top of roofs.
Birds of all types are flocking to the Grand Bees neighborhood in West Ashley. According to neighbors, they’re leaving behind a mess.
“A lot of poop, a lot of debris left over in the yard. You know, it doesn’t matter how many times they clean it. It’s like ‘where’d this napkin come from, where’d this come?’” said Jamie Weiler, a Grand Bees resident.
The Lennar housing development is located right off Bees Ferry Road, next to a large Charleston County landfill.
Katie Fox moved to the neighborhood one year ago and said the birds are dropping off lots of trash when they fly in.
Wrappers, feminine products, chicken bones, and even needles are just a few of the items neighbors have seen in their yards.
“I have tons of trash in my backyard that I often use one of those trash claws to pick up because I don’t want to catch any diseases from this,” Fox said. “And then many kids can’t go out and play. Dogs are choking on bones. They had to go to the vet to get those removed from their stomach. So, it’s been pretty bad. We’re all running out of ideas.”
Fox said she’s woken up by the sound of the crows every morning. The noise doesn’t stop until the evening.
Jamie Weiler said the birds weren’t a problem when the homes were being built. Little did he know, a few months later, he would have some unexpected neighbors.
“Since there’s no construction noise there’s no hammering or anything like that. They’re not scared so they’re just hanging out, hanging out, hanging out. So, it’s gotten worse over time,” Weiler explained.
According to Charleston County officials, the landfill has been there since the 1970s.
News 2 reached out to Lennar’s Charleston office, but we have not heard back. We also made calls with county leaders in hopes of getting some answers.
13 West Ashley restaurants you can’t miss
While downtown Charleston is known for its fine dining restaurants, fast casual spots, late night dive bars and craft cocktail joints, it isn’t the only area in Charleston with standout menu items. Just over the Ashley River in West Ashley, you’ll discover many locally-owned restaurants that serve quality food for a fraction of the downtown price.Plus, when you’re hanging at these 13 restaurants, you can escape the hustle and bustle of downtown.Avondale Wine and Cheese813 Savannah Hwy.(843) 76...
While downtown Charleston is known for its fine dining restaurants, fast casual spots, late night dive bars and craft cocktail joints, it isn’t the only area in Charleston with standout menu items. Just over the Ashley River in West Ashley, you’ll discover many locally-owned restaurants that serve quality food for a fraction of the downtown price.
Plus, when you’re hanging at these 13 restaurants, you can escape the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Avondale Wine and Cheese813 Savannah Hwy.(843) 769-5444Avondalechs.comOpen Mon.-Wed. 3-9 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. 12-9 p.m.
Voted Best Wine Bar by City Paper readers this year, Avondale Wine & Cheese currently offers a variety of charcuterie and cheese board options, tapas and, of course, wine. Choose your own combination of meats, cheeses and tapas items for your board, so you can try a little bit of everything. It’s a lot to choose from, and can be daunting for those less educated in all things meat, cheese and wine, but the staff at Avondale is there to help pick the right flavors for you.
Boxcar Betty’s1922 Savannah Hwy.(843) 225-7470Boxcarbettys.comOpen daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Boxcar Betty’s is the perfect place to fulfill a chicken sandwich craving. The fried-to-order chicken sandwiches here can be customized to your desires, with a range of toppings and sauces to choose from. Or, opt for a classic sandwich like the Boxcar with pimiento cheese, house-made peach slaw, pickles and spicy mayo. Even vegetarians can indulge in Boxcar Betty’s offerings with pimiento-stuffed portobello mushrooms as a protein choice.
Early Bird Diner 1644 Savannah Hwy.(843) 277-2353Earlybirddiner.comOpen daily 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Though Early Bird made a name for itself as a spot for late night adventures and a hangover-fueled morning haunt, its hours have shifted to a traditional cafe, but it hasn’t lost its charm. The famous pecan-fried chicken and waffles taste as good as ever. The sweet, crispy exterior of the chicken pairs perfectly with the fluffy Belgian waffles. Pro-tip: Pour the syrup over everything on the plate, get a biteful of chicken and waffle and dip the syrup-coated pair into the honey mustard. It’s a flavor combo unlike any other.
Gene’s Haufbrau817 Savannah Hwy.(843) 225-4363Open daily 11:30-2 a.m.
Gene’s Haufbrau is a West Ashley staple. This year, it celebrated 70 years of serving Charlestonians one of the largest selections of beer. And, the food is stellar too. Gene’s knocks pub fare out of the park with classics like chicken wings and burgers, but ask about the daily blue plate specials, ranging from pork chops and pot roast to fried flounder.
The Glass Onion1219 Savannah Hwy.(843) 225-1717Ilovetheglassonion.comOpen Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Glass Onion has been a neighborhood favorite since 2008, serving fine dining quality meals in a casual atmosphere. Chef/owner Chris Stewart combines his native Alabama roots with cooking styles he learned in New Orleans and Charleston, giving the menu a creative Southern flair. Menu items like gumbo brimming with okra and sausage, pan-roasted flounder served over tender braised beans and thick mashed potatoes, shrimp and grits and fried catfish with red rice are part of the reason City Paper readers voted The Glass Onion as the Best West Ashley Restaurant in 2022.
Home Team BBQ1205 Ashley River Road(843) 225-7427Hometeambbq.comOpen daily 11-12 a.m.
Chefs Aaron Siegel and Taylor Garrigan started their acclaimed barbecue empire, Home Team BBQ, in West Ashley. The meats here, like pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs and a superb salt-and-pepper brisket, are all cooked over wood on offset metal pits. Siegel and Garrigan’s fine dining roots show up in an array of creative snacks and tacos, like chopped brisket sliders on brioche buns and smoked shrimp tacos with white bean puree. And, don’t miss out on Home Team’s smoked chicken wings with tangy white Alabama-style sauce.
Old Li’s1662 Savannah Hwy. Unit 105(843) 640-3994Oldlisrestaurant.comOpen Thurs.-Tues. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Old Li’s is a hidden gem in West Ashley tucked in the Indigo Village shopping center on Savannah Highway. It first opened in 2021, serving Chinese cuisine, but not the standard Chinese American takeout dishes like General Tso’s. Instead, Old Li’s offers more adventurous meals like squirrel fish and griddled pork intestines. Of course, you can also stick to some favorites like pork fried rice, Yuxiang (or shredded) pork and Kung Pao Chicken.
Red Orchid’s China Bistro1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. (843) 573-8787redorchids.com
City Paper readers have voted Red Orchids Best Chinese for many years — and for good reason. Not only are the dishes affordable but also delicious. Tucked away in the back of the Ashley Landing Mall parking lot, Red Orchids is the perfect place for a quiet lunch or dinner out. Pro-tip: As the temperatures in the Lowcountry drop, stop by Red Orchids for a bowl of wonton soup. It’s savory, warm and served with delicious pork dumplings. It also comes with crispy wonton strips that add extra crunch.
R Kitchen1337 Ashley River Road(843) 789-4342Rutledgekitchen.comOpen Wed.-Sat. Reservation Only.
R Kitchen is a different dining experience than the traditional sit down, order and eat. R, is reservation only and the menu changes every night, offering a five-course menu based on seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ creativity. Reservations can be made by texting (843) 789-0725.
Swig & Swine1217 Savannah Hwy.(843) 225-3805Swigandswinebbq.comOpen daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Swig & Swine specializes in fresh-smoked meats with ice-cold drinks. Its extensive drink menu includes local draft beers as well as signature cocktails. Try the St. Louis ribs or the pork rind nachos for a messy good time.
Three Little Birds65 Windermere Blvd.(843) 225-3065Threelittlebirdscafe.comOpen Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Located near the Earth Fare in the South Windermere Center, Three Little Birds is a quaint dining space wrapped in lush greenery. big breakfast and lunch meals. Serving big breakfast and lunch meals, some classics standout like Tom’s Plate offer two eggs any style, toast, a side and the choice of bacon, ham or sausage. Or, you can try the lox bagel, topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers or the Carolina Scramble with eggs, andouille sausage, shrimp, peppers and onion.
Triangle Char & Bar828 Savannah Hwy.(843) 377-1300Trianglecharandbar.comOpen Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11-12 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Triangle Char + Bar is a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant with a cozy vibe and delicious food. Highlights of the menu include a selection of grass-fed burgers like the Hot Sh*t, a blackened burger with jalapeno-bacon jam, an over easy egg and pepper jack cheese. Or if you don’t feel like getting your hands a little messy, Triangle has “fork and knife” options like the retro bowl made with quinoa, sweet corn, spinach, bacon and white onion, all tossed in a parmesan cream sauce.
Zen Asian Fusion2037 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.(843) 766-6331Zenasianrestaurant.comHours vary
Zen is the perfect spot to relax after a long day or hang out with a group of friends. The dim lighting and calm ambiance adds to the delicious sushi rolls and entrees offered at this Asian fusion restaurant. Traditional Chinese dishes like Mongolian beef share the menu with chef specials like crispy roasted Mandarin duck or noodle dishes like pad thai and mei fun. But Zen shines in its abundance of delicious and well-crafted sushi rolls. Take, for example, the Holy Moly Roll, made with King crab, tuna, avocado and spring mix, then deep fried and topped with a creamy sauce.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.
West Ashley neighbors concerned about flooding almost entering their homes
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - Neighbors in a West Ashley community say they are frustrated and anxious after floodwater crept up to their homes, and a potential solution could be a few years away.Bennett Barton and Rachel Brunette said Thursday’s rainstorms flooded both the road and their backyards, almost getting into their houses. They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.“This is my first house; I didn’t know what to expect,” Barton said. “I started panick...
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - Neighbors in a West Ashley community say they are frustrated and anxious after floodwater crept up to their homes, and a potential solution could be a few years away.
Bennett Barton and Rachel Brunette said Thursday’s rainstorms flooded both the road and their backyards, almost getting into their houses. They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.
“This is my first house; I didn’t know what to expect,” Barton said. “I started panicking. I couldn’t leave to get sandbags or any preventative measures because the road was flooded, too.”
They said as cars passed by, the wake would go up and slap against their front doors.
“At one point, I even got pitchers and just was pouring them into my sink from my screened-in porch,” Barton said. Didn’t do anything, but it made me ease my mind a little bit.”
The Woodlands neighborhood is part of the Dupont Wappoo Watershed, which consists of around 1,000 acres of West Ashley surrounding the Citadel Mall.
The City of Charleston said they are spending $5 million on four out of the 10 scheduled projects to improve downstream water flow under Interstate 526. Once that is done, the city will be increasing the size of pipes and canals near the Woodlands neighborhood to get the water out faster.
“There’s not a lot of elevation change to make that water flow very quickly,” Charleston Director of Stormwater Management Matthew Fountain said, “so those very small ditches don’t work for how much pavement, how many buildings we have in the basin now.”
Brunette said it is not uncommon for her to have to check the weather radar before she leaves for work.
“So, when I’m away for the day, I have to be prepared that whether my windows are open, whether the dog is in or out, and like you said if the vehicle is in the right place in case it does flood,” Brunette said. “There’s been a couple of cars that have been flooded out. The landscaping, you can’t keep decent landscaping. It washes away.”
The city said they are optimistic construction on the projects will start in 2025, but until then, Barton said his anxiety will continue.
“If it had rained for two more hours or it was going into high tide, I think my living room would have been underwater,” Barton said. “Who knows how much that would have cost?”
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
SCDNR awarded $1.5 million to restore West Ashley tidal marsh
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C.Last week, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was awarded $1.5 million to work with partners and volunteers in the Charleston area to restore seven acres of degraded salt marsh in a historically important area. The project will unfold over four years and use volunteers to plant salt marsh grasses and construct oyster reefs through SCDNR’s South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) Program."We’re ecstatic to receive funding for this pro...
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C.
Last week, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was awarded $1.5 million to work with partners and volunteers in the Charleston area to restore seven acres of degraded salt marsh in a historically important area. The project will unfold over four years and use volunteers to plant salt marsh grasses and construct oyster reefs through SCDNR’s South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) Program.
"We’re ecstatic to receive funding for this project," said Michael Hodges, SCDNR shellfish biologist and lead on the project. "We’re excited that we will get to involve so many volunteers and partners in the project’s implementation. This will be a unique project, using novel, nature-based solutions to restore the degraded tidal marsh in this historically significant part of the Lowcountry."
Granted by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, the award is one of eight funded across the country and represents a continuation of federally funded work on Old Towne Creek in West Ashley. Phase one of the project, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), involved developing engineering and design plans for coastal marshes in West Ashley. A team led by Dr. Joel E. Kostka, Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at GT, will lead post-restoration monitoring and quantify habitat improvements as well as collaborate with SCDNR to train volunteers and citizen scientists. Other partners in this phase of the project will include Robinson Design Engineers and the South Carolina Aquarium.
"This project is a win-win for the Charleston area as it will restore critical wildlife habitat while strengthening the resilience of the coastline to damage from storms and erosion made worse by climate change," said Dr. Kostka. "We at Georgia Tech are excited to participate in the project, in particular to leverage science to develop metrics and improve strategies that will ensure the success of nature-based restoration activities across the U.S."
The restoration site is in what was formerly Maryville, a small town with an important role in Charleston’s history. Chartered and settled in 1886, Maryville was one of the area’s most prominent settlement communities – self-sustaining, all-Black communities that offered the region’s formerly enslaved population safer places to buy land, raise families, and pursue farming or trades in the Jim Crow-era South.
Despite later annexation by the city of Charleston and rapid development of surrounding West Ashley, the area is still known to some locals – including descendants of the town’s founders – as Maryville.
Old Towne Creek is the tidal waterway that connects this area to the nearby Ashley River. In 1670, it saw the first English settlers arrive and establish ‘Charles Towne’ on its banks. Later, the fishermen of Maryville plied its waters for crab, oysters and fish. Today, the creek is popular among kayakers and birdwatchers. But like many urban waterways, Old Towne Creek and its surrounding marshes have degraded over time, particularly after a severe drought in 2012 and another salt marsh dieback event in 2016. Researchers have found that the salt marsh within the project area has not recovered naturally like other areas with similar conditions.
The recent $1.5 million in funding will allow for the restoration and monitoring of seven acres of degraded salt marsh through community-based restoration efforts. Members of the community and the Ashleyville-Maryville Neighborhood Association, who initially noticed that the marsh vegetation was dying back, participated in the initial site assessment and will now be engaged as volunteers in the restoration.
SCDNR biologists have been constructing ‘living shorelines’ – shorelines made of natural materials – for two decades, primarily using recycled oyster shells. These shells attract young oysters, which settle on the hard materials and collectively grow into reef structures that filter waterways, provide habitat for fish and buffer shorelines from erosion.
Please click here to sign up to receive updates about marsh restoration volunteer events.
For additional information, contact: Erin Weeks at (843) 729-3531 WeeksE@dnr.sc.gov