About Edisto Island and Edisto Beach

Edisto Island is a Sea Island formed by the North & South
Edisto rivers. It is 67.6 square miles cut by numerous creeks
and rivers. When you cross the McKinley Washington bridge
over the Dawhoo river you enter the Edisto Island National
Scenic Byway (SC Highway 174). This road runs down the
center of the island. The marshes which make the views so spectacular provide habitat for blue crabs, wading birds,
oysters and a nursery for marine life which feeds into the
Atlantic Ocean. They are incredibly productive.

Native Americans fished and hunted here, settlement of the island dates from the 1600's and plantations eventually grew indigo, rice and the famous long stapled Sea Island cotton. Thousands of slaves toiled here to make those plantation owners among the wealthiest in the colonies. Wherever you go an interesting history surrounds you. To learn more visit the web of the
Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society.

Today, according to the 2011 census, the island has some
2,965 permanent residents, Edisto Beach has some 414 though
the Beach population swells dramatically in summer.
Many members of the African American community on Edisto
and some of the white community trace their families to
those early plantations. Others have come here drawn by the beach, creeks and lifestyle.

People are attracted to Edisto for all the right reasons. They
like the slow paced way of life. They like it's un-commercial
nature. They love the setting, snuggled between the North
and South Edisto rivers with miles of meandering
creeks and acre upon acre of marshlands.

The ever present spartina grass, rippling when there's a wind, changes color with the season and the Atlantic Ocean provides
a sunrise to remember for a lifetime.

Whether you are fishing in the creeks, biking, paddling,
kayaking, bird watching, enjoying photography, eating oysters,
or simply reading a book in a hammock the cares of the
mainland seem to melt away.

Yet the very people attracted to Edisto sometimes fall victim to a disease we call, "if only we had..." As in "if only we had more
tennis courts, or a Wal Mart, or a bigger grocery store."
People don't seem to realize that little changes are cumulative...
and the fragile place we cherish can easily be lost
if we continue to change it. One day we will awaken to find
there are no more wild turkeys, or ospreys, or wood storks
because they no longer have a place to nest or forage or rest.
One day we'll find that driving on scenic 174 is no longer
restful but as stressful as driving on Highway 17.

It doesn't have to be that way. Growth simply for the sake of
growth is not good. Well planned, controlled growth, reflecting
the desires of the community, leaves room for family homes and
the wildlife we love. It protects our water quality and air quality
and sustains our economy by making Edisto a place that
people continue to want to visit.

That's why EIPA was formed. That's why we need like
minded people to help us.

We're "About Edisto"... and you can be too.



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What type of community is Edisto?
Our new literacy program as featured in
the Post & Courier newspaper is an example
of our community's character.

What do visitors say
about our island?

Ahhhh Edisto!

Another perspective: local resident Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn
blogs about Edisto

More visitor reaction (1)
and (2)

Botany Bay Wildlife Management

There are many important activities that
take place on our wonderful island and we need to
support as many as we can.

Recently SC DNR sponsored an oyster bed
re nourishment project. EIPA and Frespace
were among the organizations supporting it.

Oyster Shell Recycling Project


From one of our frequent Edisto visitors:

"As part of that "tourist population" that developers target, I feel helpless stuck here in Colorado to help stop even more development.    The reason we love the area and come to visit is because it isn't overly developed...yet.  If the docks are put in and more development occurs it doesn't make us want to come and spend our money there, it makes us want to try and find another "Edisto" and that is getting harder and harder to find. 

Edisto Island is a rare find and it it would be a great loss to that tourist dollar and a bigger loss to the residents of the Island.  I also believe the population of the Island should include the wildlife you have. It is the reason we come, to see and experience the birds and insects and reptiles and mammals, trees and flowers of your special area.   We can experience "development" everywhere in the US, can't one place maintain the delight of being slow and not as developed?"

Pearle Sandstrom-Smith


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