SIPOA Earns Sustainable Planning Award from Audubon International

CONTACT: Jessica Latus, Director of Sustainable Community Programs
(518) 767-9051 ext. 124 |

SEABROOK ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA – The Seabrook Island Property Owners Association has earned the Sustainable Planning Award from Audubon International. The award is an important milestone in Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program and recognizes a community’s successful completion of Stage 2: defining and adopting a long-term community vision and choosing sustainability indicators as a mechanism for fostering action and measuring success.

SIPOA’s Board President, Ed Houff, added: “The Sustainable Planning Award from Audubon International is an exceptional milestone – Seabrook Island is the first private community in South Carolina to complete Stage 2 of the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program. Our success is due not only to the support and commitment of the Seabrook Island Property Owners, but also to the tireless work of many individuals, including especially SIPOA Executive Director Heather Paton; Jim Bannwart, Carl Voelker, and community focus group leaders Jody Turner, Dave Osborn, Larry Buchman, Warren Kimball, Barry Shedrow, Dennis Nagy and Lee Weber; and Planning Committee chair Dan Kortvelesy, and committee members Lynn Crane and Ron Schildge. This was truly a total community effort!”

Since joining the program six years ago, Seabrook Island has brought together the efforts of residents, local and regional organizations, businesses, and community management. These partners have addressed priority projects under 14 focus areas such as resource use and environment. Within each focus area, goals such as food sourcing and waste reduction have yielded action items that were adopted by the community. Seabrook Island, with help from all of the partners, has begun to implement the action items listed in the adopted long-range sustainability plan.

Some projects areas include:
• Enhancing environmental signage regarding turtle and plover protection
• Enhancing the community library offerings on native landscaping and green projects
• Implementing an invasive species removal plan
• Developing an energy use reduction plan, with a commitment to energy conservation
• Improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
• Update of architectural policies to anticipate threats from rising seas

“Seabrook Island has made tremendous strides in prioritizing community challenges, harnessing the power of partnerships, and compiling a strategic sustainability plan with reachable goals that will have a real and positive effect on the community and its residents,” says Jessica Latus, Director of Sustainable Communities at Audubon International. “Seabrook Island should be rightfully proud of earning this well-deserved award.”

Seabrook Island can now move forward into Stage 3 of the Sustainable Communities Program, during which the community will implement additional projects listed in the action plan and report progress to begin tracking the results of its plan.

About Audubon International
Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Sustainable Communities and Green Neighborhoods Programs, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central
element of planning, policies, and practices. For more information, contact Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit the website at