If you ever doubted that Seabrook Island is a very special place, this sign is more proof of just how special it is.
When entering the gate you may have paid little attention to this sign and it deserves explanation. It announces a significant achievement on the part of SIPOA Board members, staff, and volunteers. Seabrook Island first earned the prestigious designation as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in November 2017.
Receiving and retaining this designation as a Certified Sustainable Community is contingent upon the quality, completeness, and implementation of a Long Term Sustainability Plan (LTSP). In November 2020, Seabrook Island completed the three-year review process and was once again recognized for environmental excellence by retaining its status as a Certified Sustainable Community, one of only ten in the world.
According to Christine Kane, CEO of Audubon International:
“The Seabrook Island Property Owners Association has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. As the first Certified Sustainable Community in the state of South Carolina, they are to be commended for implementing and encouraging sustainability practices such as sourcing local foods, rebuilding boardwalks with sustainable materials, hosting virtual education events, and much more.”
Congratulations to Heather Paton, the SIPOA Board, and SIPOA staff for their continuing work in this important effort. To learn more about the history of this effort, continue reading below.
In December 2017, Tidelines announced that Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) was designated as the first Certified Sustainable Community in the state of South Carolina after completing requirements and meeting the strict criteria of the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program. At that time, only five other communities in the world had received this designation.
To earn that initial certification required a multi-stage, staff and volunteer effort that began in 2011 leading to the development and implementation of SIPOA’s Long Term Sustainability Plan (LTSP). The LTSP addresses Audubon International’s three “Pillars of Sustainability”: Healthy Local Environment, Economic Vitality, and Quality of Life, with timelines and measurable goals addressing 15 focus areas, including wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water conservation, energy efficiency, health, and transportation.
In March 2018, Seabrook Island was featured in an article in CMIA Today, the publication of the Community Managers International Association, in which the LTSP and progress towards its implementation are described. After successfully implementing the LTSP for two years, SIPOA completed the recertification process and in November 2020 received notification of retaining its designation as a Certified Sustainable Community.