2022 Q3 Town Notes

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TOWN NOTES

3rd Quarter

4475 Betsy Kerrison Drive Kiawah Island, SC 29455 • 843-768-9166 • www.kiawahisland.org


BIG YEAR 2022 Sea Turtle Nesting Season

By Lynne Sager Photos by Alison Frey Kiawah’s season began with our first nest on May 6, although the truck volunteers started looking for crawls on May 1. Our Nesting Patrol Truck surveys the entire beach from Captain Sam’s Spit to the berm beyond the Ocean Course Clubhouse. Depending on the activity of the loggerheads, the night before, our crews can be on the beach anywhere from three to seven hours, beginning at sunrise. This year, turtle activity has been impressive! That means our teams have been on the beach for an average of six hours each morning! They have been busy investigating false crawls (non-nesting crawls) and nesting crawls. As of August 18, our crews have found 486 nests, and 42.8% of them had to be relocated. It is so exciting to have so many nests here on our beach. Continue reading at next page >


Kiawah has been the densest nesting beach of all the developed South Carolina islands since 2017. It looks like this year won’t be any different. I credit this to the commitment levels of our island’s entities, the Town, the Community Association, and the Resort. It also tells me that the Turtle Patrol is doing an excellent job of educating the public, so our beach remains attractive to our beloved loggerheads. Is there more we can do? Always. We still need to reinforce the need to fill holes on the beach before leaving for the day and to avoid using white lights while walking/biking on the beach at night. The Municipal Center and the Nature Center have red stickers for flashlights and bicycle lights, free of charge. Please use these for additional lighting, but try to allow your eyes to adjust, and you’ll see that white light isn’t required. The ocean's stars, moon, and luminescence make flashlights unnecessary. Kiawah’s summer season is attracting more and more tourists, many unaware of our “protected, endangered” sea turtles. Education needs to be stepped up by all of us.

Remember: Never stand in front of a sea turtle crawling to shore. Stay 50 feet behind her and don’t take pictures until she crawls back to the ocean. Never touch or harass nesting females or hatchlings. If you see anyone in violation, take a picture, and please call after-hours code enforcement (843) 714-9819.


Solid Waste Notices August No change in service. September Labor Day Week Service Change - Monday's trash collection will be collected on Tuesday, September 6. All other collections move forward one day. No yard debris collection. Twice per week trash collection ends September 9. Brown Trash Collection - Friday, September 9 | 7 a.m.

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Follow the Town on Social Media @townofkiawahisland @townofkiawah @TownofKiawahSC

Town Office Closures Monday, September 5, 2022 - Labor Day

Bicycle Collection Thursday, September 8, 2022 - Contact Sarah Quinn-Bicycles for Humanity at 843768-4407.

Brown Trash Collection Friday, September 9 All brown trash must be placed on the curb by 7:00 a.m. to ensure collection. For larger items such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc., please call Carolina Waste at 843-576-1100 to schedule a pickup at an additional cost. What classifies as Brown Trash? Lawn chairs, grills, folding or beach chairs, mattresses & box springs (single or twin only), bicycles, strollers, and small appliances (vacuums, toaster ovens, toasters, microwaves).


Mayors Corner

John D. Labriola Our town’s mission statement is "To protect and preserve the residential character of the community and the island's unique natural environment while supporting the economic vitality of the resort and other commercial enterprises." One way to accomplish this is to learn from our past, do our best in the present, and plan wisely for the future. One of the most important jobs of the Mayor, Town Council, and staff is to ensure that all activities performed by the local government are done with the greatest possible transparency. As part of this effort, I have outlined below some of the projects we have been working on since the start of this year. Our town is halfway through its 34th year with continued exemplary financial status, outstanding safety through our contract with Charleston County Sheriff's Office, St. Johns Fire Department, and Charleston County EMS, and exceptional

quality of life as reflected in our living experiences and environmental commitments. Our current appeal to new homeowners reflects the desirability of Kiawah Island. Additionally, it poses challenges for growth management that cannot be ignored, especially related to traffic on Johns Island. Charleston County is working on these issues through the Main Road Corridor project. If you are unfamiliar with the ongoing initiative, I encourage you to learn more at www.mainroadcorridor.com. To better manage traffic closer to home, we recently completed a Comprehensive Traffic and Corridor Study and a study of the intersection of Kiawah Island Parkway at Beachwalker Drive, which is our immediate concern. Continue reading at next page >


The town is considering additional enhancements at this intersection and has engaged Kiawah Partners regarding the Kiawah Island Real Estate site. We believe this site is crucial to improving the intersection’s traffic flow and are in the early stage of performing due diligence. In the spirit of continued transparency, we will provide updates as they are available. A copy of the Comprehensive Traffic and Corridor Study and the intersection study can be found here. I want to share a few other highlights and projects from this year thus far: The Town’s Planning Department and Planning Commission are working with Biohabitats in collaboration with Elko Consulting on a Marsh Management Plan. Completed this fall, the plan will be used to establish local development practices, town ordinances and capital improvement projects that enhance the quality of life and sustain our natural environment. Learn more here. South Street Partners is in the final stages of its development with Parcel 13. The history of this site can be found on the town’s development resources webpage here. This newly created webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions and background information on a number of sites currently under development, including Parcel 13. Our environmental initiatives have made significant headway, and both the town’s bobcat numbers and the number of sea turtle nests are up. This has been a sensational sea turtle season, with over 482 reported nests this year. We also continue to be strong advocates against the use of secondgeneration anticoagulants, as they are harmful to our beloved wildlife.

Captured by Alison Frey If you have not already done so, please consider joining our Bobcat Guardian Program. We issued a Request for Proposals to assist in updating our town’s Comprehensive Plan, which we believe should dictate proactive strategies focused on longevity. LS3P and KimleyHorn were selected through this process, and there will be ample opportunities for community partner and resident engagement. In the coming weeks, we will share more information on how you can get involved. While the Town of Kiawah Island has had a busy and successful year to date, much work still needs to be done. We anticipate a continued increase in activity on the island throughout the summer into fall and hope that you take the time to enjoy this season and everything our town has to offer.


The Town Is Growing Join us in welcoming our new employees!

NEW TOWN PODCAST

Chris Makowski Communications Manager

Craig Harris Public Safety Director

Michael Nardelli Public Works Assistant Manager

Ruthie Foster Arts & Cultural Events Coordinator

Sha' Graham Communications Specialist

Tim Maguire Combination Commercial Inspector

The Town is pleased to announce the Town's brand-new podcast, Sharing With The Community: A Podcast from the Town of Kiawah Island is live and available to stream on all major podcast streaming services. The Town's podcast, hosted by Communications Manager Chris Makowski, is intended to provide the Town's perspectives on issues we as a community feel are essential. Instructions on How to Tune-In: For immediate access, click or copy and paste the link below into your search engine/address bar tokipodcast.buzzsprout.com to access podcast episodes. OR Open streaming service app (Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.) and log in (if necessary). Enter the podcast name, Sharing With The Community: A Podcast from the Town of Kiawah Island, within the search bar.

Select the desired podcast matching the title above, then press play to stream. Be sure to press "follow" or "add to library" for easy access and to stay up to date on new releases. Any questions concerning the podcast can be directed to Chris Makowski at cmakowski@kiawahisland.org.


KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT INTRODUCES NEW DINING OPTIONS Kiawah Island Golf Resort introduces two new dining options for island guests and residents. First, as part of its multiyear expansion, Town Center Market is set to be replaced by The Nest Market & Café. Centrally located at Night Heron Park, the Nest will provide an array of goods, including grocery staples and must-have sundries for the beach and pool. Both eat-in and take-out menu options will include made-to-order gourmet sandwiches and salads, pre-prepared grab-and-go items, and prepared to-go family meals. Made-fromscratch baked goods perfectly complement freshly brewed gourmet coffee. An extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items may be savored either indoors or on The Nest's wide, live oak-shaded porch. And The Nest is the best place to grab a morning paper. Be sure to check kiawahresort.com frequently for an opening announcement. This spring, The Sanctuary hotel opened Signature Gourmet Coffee Shop, located on the ground floor level just across the passage from The Lobby Bar. It offers baked goods

made fresh daily by nationally recognized Executive Pastry Chef Jordan Snider and an array of both hot and iced gourmet coffees and a selection of both warm and cold breakfast and lunch options. Available for dine-in or to-go, Signature Gourmet is open daily from 7:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. The resort has further expanded its breakfast options by serving a full breakfast menu at Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House at Osprey Point clubhouse. Starting at 8:00 in the morning, diners can order either grab-and-go items or dine in-house, selecting from a wide assortment of menu items such as a baconegg-and-cheese sandwich or a full breakfast plate including two eggs, two slices of bacon and pimento cheese grits. Those opting for lighter, yet still satisfying fare can opt for a Greek yogurt and fresh fruit parfait. Click here to learn more about Kiawah Island Golf Resort dining.


LEARN ABOUT

MARSH

MANAGEMENT

PLAN

By John Taylor, Planning Manager

The Town has an established process and management strategy for maintaining one of the greatest natural resources for Kiawah, the beach. Kiawah has an outstanding healthy beach because of Kiawah’s geographical position and both Kiawah’s management practices and development patterns along the beach over time. The significant natural resource that Kiawah also has that has not always been highlighted as the beach is the marsh front. The salt marsh provides significant benefits to the community including flood mitigation, wildlife habitat and natural beauty. We must develop strategies to protect this critical resource island wide by focusing the interface of the highlands and critical area.

In Fall 2019, the Town amended its Comprehensive Plan to prioritize flood mitigation and sea-level rise risks. One of those risks identified was focusing on Kiawah’s salt marsh. Through several community engagement initiatives beginning with the work of the Flood Mitigation and Sea Level Rise Subcommittee, the Comprehensive Plan was amended by Town Council to establish a new natural resources goal of formalizing a marsh management plan that explores various methods of protection for the Island’s marsh. The development of our Marsh Management Plan is now underway with the help our consultant team Biohabitats and Elko Coastal Consulting. Find the project's story map and more here.


The Towns New App The Town of Kiawah Island is excited to announce its new app as a part of our ongoing development of expanded services and communication efforts. This new asset is a helpful resource for residents and visitors and provides convenient access to community information, services, and reporting capabilities from mobile devices. The Town of Kiawah Island app is available now for iOS and Android operating systems. Download it free on your mobile device from the App Store by searching Town of Kiawah Island. Exciting features include: Detailed beach map with GPS includes boardwalk access, critical habitat areas, and overlays of the dog leash zones with tap-to-view descriptions of each zone. A consolidated contact list of important community phone numbers with tap-to-communicate ability allows users to call directly from the app. Report an issue portal (see below) that routes entered requests to the appropriate Town department or responsible entity for resolution, even if it's not a Town service. Users can pin their location, enter addresses manually, send an image, and provide other data. Hospitality directory (see below) of lodging, dining, recreation, and shopping options, including tap-tocommunicate features that allow users to call the business, use GPS for directions, or visit listing websites. Quick access to the Town's wildlife directory provides detailed species information on Kiawah wildlife, viewing spots, and research projects. Tide and weather information Beach Rules and regulations information News - quick access to the latest Town news Events - view upcoming Arts & Cultural Events and access ticketing The Town appreciates your feedback on the functionality and the quality of the app experience. Residents and app users can send feedback or issues to the Town's Communications Manager, Chris Makowski, at cmakowski@kiawahisland.org.


BOBCAT GPS UPDATE

This year marks the 16th anniversary of Bobcat GPS research on Kiawah Island! This project remains the longest, continuous GPS study on bobcats in the world and was developed by The Town of Kiawah Island, in partnership with the Kiawah Conservancy, in 2007. Kiawah’s bobcats play a vital role in our island ecosystem by helping to control rodent and deer populations. One hundred three bobcats have been captured and fitted with GPS collars, including 7 in February/March 2022. Collars are programmed to obtain specific locations per day, allowing biologists to identify habitat use patterns during the day and nighttime hours, denning sites, travel corridors, survival, dispersal, and more.

Updates From The Field Seven bobcats were captured and fitted with GPS collars this winter One bobcat den was found in 2022 near 25 Ocean Course Drive, containing one female kitten.

Research conducted by: Jim Jordan, Wildlife Biologist & Aaron Given, Assistant Wildlife Biologist

Annual survival rates for bobcats continue to increase. 2019 – 33% 2020 – 25% 2021 – 83% 2022 – 100% to date

Meet Our 2022 Bobcats Bobcat 650 – 2/2 – Adult Male, Captain Sams, 20lbs 15oz. New cat. Bobcat 700 – 2/5 – Subadult Female, Preserve, 12lbs 2oz. New cat. Bobcat 750 – 2/3 – Juvenile Male, Flyway/Canvasback, 14lbs, 8oz. PIT tagged as kitten on 5-11-21 on Flyway Drive Bobcat 800 – 2/5 – Adult Male, Ocean Park, 21lbs 3oz. Recapture from 2021 (Bobcat 250) Bobcat 850 – 2/8 – Juvenile Female, Flyway/Canvasback, 12lbs 1oz. PIT tagged as kitten on 5-11-21 on Flyway Drive. Bobcat 900 – 3/10 – Subadult Female, Flyway/Osprey Beach, 12lbs 3 oz. New cat. Bobcat 5002 – 3/10 – Juvenile Male, The Preserve, 17lbs 5 oz. New cat.

Bobcats Continued >


The Town of Kiawah Island launched the Bobcat Guardian Program in July 2020 in response to the rapid decline in bobcat numbers on Kiawah Island due to the negative impacts of second-generation anticoagulants (SGAs). Pest control companies, businesses and individual property owners were asked to sign a voluntary pledge never to use an SGA on Kiawah Island. The program has been a huge success and is the primary reason the island’s bobcat population is recovering. Thank you to all the businesses, entities, and individuals who have signed up to become a Bobcat Guardian! Currently, we have 600 homeowners, 21 businesses, and 29 pest control companies enrolled in the program. While there was a tremendous initial sign-up to the program, pledges have declined significantly in the last year. If you haven’t taken the pledge, please visit www.savekiawahbobcats.com to learn more and sign up. This webpage lists all current Bobcat Guardians, information on proper rodent control, and much more.

Bobcats Continued >


KIAWAH ISLAND BOBCAT AND RODENTICIDE STUDY UPDATE The Kiawah Island Bobcat and Rodenticide Study is underway! This new research project began this winter in collaboration with Clemson University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Department and Town Biologists. This Ph.D. research project, under the direction of Ph.D. student Meghan Keating, will take place over four years and include three years of intensive fieldwork. The project’s overall goal is to understand better the health and future viability of Kiawah’s bobcats and other wildlife, quantify the impacts of rodenticides, and develop long-term solutions. The project has six primary objectives as listed below: 1. Monitor second-generation anticoagulant (SGA) rodenticide concentrations in bobcats and patterns in bobcat behavior and survival over the next three years on Kiawah. 2. Assess historical patterns in bobcat behavior and demography on Kiawah Island over time using existing data. 3. Assess patterns in bobcat diet. 4. Continue monitoring SGA concentrations in small carnivores other than bobcats over the next three years on Kiawah Island. 5. Quantify rodent species distribution/density and SGA concentrations on Kiawah Island. 6. Provide recommendations to maintain a healthy, stable bobcat population on Kiawah Island. The Town provides funding for this collaborative study, Clemson’s Public Service and Agricultural Department (PSA), Clemson’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), Kiawah Conservancy, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The research team from Clemson includes Meghan Keating (Ph.D. student), Dr. Greg Jachowski, Dr. Greg Yarrow, and Dr. Thomas Rainwater.


LEARN ABOUT

GROW NATIVE By Jim Jordan, Wildlife Biologist

The Town of Kiawah Island’s Grow Native initiative, launched in 2018, is a community-wide effort to increase the use of native plants in landscaping projects across the island with an overall goal of improving wildlife habitat. The initiative was created by the Landscape Working Group (LWG), a subcommittee of the Town’s Environmental Committee, with support from the Kiawah Conservancy. As development continues on Kiawah Island, it is more important than ever to focus on Growing Native. Using native plants in landscaping has a direct impact on the ecosystem. Benefits of using native plants include: Protection of water resources, allowing gardeners to reduce fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation practices which otherwise can contribute to stormwater runoff pollution Sustain pollinators vital for fruit production and provide high-quality food and shelter for 10 to 15 times as many species of wildlife as non-native plants. Provide essential watershed protection, helping natural aquifers recharge, serving to filter water naturally flowing into rivers and estuaries, lessening erosion and flooding. Resistance to saltwater intrusion from flooding and storm surges. To support this program, the Town has developed an online, searchable list of native trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, ferns, and grasses that provides detailed information on 23 different plant characteristics, including growing conditions, size, flowering information, salt tolerance, deer resistance, and wildlife value. The database is a resource for residents, landscapers, landscape architects, landscape designers, and other entities. Property owners can help move this initiative forward by incorporating native plants into future landscaping projects. Visit www.grownativekiawah.com to learn more.


Click here or on the image above to download the Town's '22-'23 Budget At A Glance.