Gutter Cleaning in
Kiawah Island SC

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The Gutter Gorilla Difference

When it comes to gutter cleaning in Kiawah Island, SC, our philosophy is simple: provide our clients with quality, dependable gutter services at a fair price. Unlike some gutter cleaning companies, we believe in honesty, hard work, and helpful advice. At the end of the day, your satisfaction is our primary goal. Before we pull out of your driveway, we will take the extra time to educate you about the work we performed. That way, you can sleep with confidence, knowing that your gutters are working correctly. We genuinely take pride in our work and strive to treat your home like it was our own, so you can focus on your obligations while we handle the dirty work. Regardless of the gutter service you choose, you can rest easy knowing your home is in the hands of trained, insured professionals. Whether you need a simple gutter repair or a complete gutter installation, we have the skills to get the job done with a level of service and quality unmatched by our competition. No shortcuts. No compromises. Only efficient, trustworthy gutter services in Kiawah Island.

Service Areas

Gutter Cleaning in Kiawah Island, SC

We treat every gutter project as a top priority. Attention to detail is the heart and soul of our business. We go far beyond providing simple gutter services, giving you incredible insight into your seamless gutters project. Your gutter installation will be handled by licensed and insured professionals. It all starts here, please begin below.

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Foundation Damage

The primary role of your gutter system is to channel water off of your roof and direct it away from your home’s foundation. Gutter blockages can result in water running over the sides of your gutters. That water will eventually settle around your foundation. With time, pooling water will affect the reliability of your home’s structure, causing cracks, mold growth, and even collapse.

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Wood Damage

Your home’s gutter system is held up by fascia boards, which are typically made of wood. When your clogged gutters overflow with water, your fascia boards will begin to rot. On top of that, your fascia boards must hold the increased weight of your clogged gutters. The combination of rot and weight can cause your gutter system to fail, resulting in expensive repairs.

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Landscaping Damage

If you want to maintain the beauty of your landscaping, having clog-free gutters is essential. When your gutters can’t do their job, overflowing water will pour down the sides of your home. Eventually, this water will damage the trees, shrubs, and flower beds close to the base of your home.

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Gutter Damage

When your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, rainwater, and other forms of precipitation have nowhere to go. This causes water to fill your gutters to the brim. Because each gallon of water weighs around eight pounds, this extra weight will cause your gutters to crack, bend, or even tear away from your roof. Your gutters are rendered completely useless at that point, and you’re looking at very expensive repairs.

If you don’t have the time and patience to commit to proper gutter cleaning, The Gutter Gorilla team is here to help. We have been cleaning gutters in Kiawah Island for years. With a fully trained team of gutter professionals on staff, we have the experience and resources to clean your gutters effectively and efficiently.

Common Signs of Clogged Gutters

One of the most common questions we get at The Gutter Gorilla centers around when homeowners need gutter cleaning in Kiawah Island, SC. The answer is nuanced, but generally speaking, your gutters need to be cleaned twice a year or whenever they become clogged. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy for the average homeowner to climb up on a ladder, get on their roof, and look to see if their gutters are full of debris.

Luckily, there are some common signs that you can look out for to save yourself from costly repairs:

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Sagging Gutters

When debris like pine needles and leaves begin to build up in your gutters, the increased weight can cause your gutters to bend and sag. When this happens, your gutters can’t do their job of directing water away from your home. If your gutters appear to be sagging, chances are they are clogged.

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Birds and Pests

Animals like birds find gutters a very appealing place to make a nest. If you notice birds or other critters scurrying around in your gutters, it can be a tell-tale sign that your gutters are clogged with nest-making materials.

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Stains on Your Siding

If you see stains on your siding, there is a good chance that your gutters are clogged, and standing water is overflowing onto your siding. This overflow of water can damage the fascia boards behind your gutters and can also affect your roof’s shingles.

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Plant Life

It might sound far-fetched, but if your gutters have enough dirt and debris buildup, seeds within that dirt can sprout, causing a garden to grow in your gutters. If you notice signs of plant growth in your gutters, they are most likely clogged and need to be cleaned ASAP.

In today’s fast-paced world, we understand that your time is precious. If you believe your gutters are clogged but don’t have the time to check, we would be happy to travel to your home for an initial gutter inspection.

During your inspection, our team will check your gutters for clogs and debris. While we are inspecting your gutters for clogs, we will also keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear and other issues that might cause damage to your home. When we’re done, we will go over what we found and provide you with a cost-effective solution for any problems that arise. That way, you can spend more time focusing on your family and your life and less time worrying about fixing your gutters by yourself.

Gutter Installation in Kiawah Island, SC

Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments that you will make as an adult. As a homeowner, you know that protecting that investment is a priority. While most homeowners do a good job of staying up to date with home maintenance, sometimes life happens, and things begin to slip through the cracks. For many homeowners, gutters and downspouts are often one of those overlooked items.

Whether you need gutters installed on your new home or your old gutter system is dilapidated and needs replacing, we’ve got your back.

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At The Gutter Gorilla, we specialize in custom gutter installation in Kiawah Island, SC. Because we have our own machinery, we are essentially cutting out middlemen manufacturers so that our customers benefit from lower prices and higher quality gutter systems. We strive to be friendly, affordable, and effective. We will always make your schedule a priority over our own.

When you trust The Gutter Gorilla with your new gutter installation, know that you are working with the best in the business.

Here are just a few reasons why we are the premier gutter installation company in Kiawah Island:

  • We only use premium materials and install seamless, 6” aluminum k-style gutters to hold more water.
  • Our installation methods are tried and tested.
  • Our gutter installation experts are knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to work hard for you.
  • We offer a warranty on all our products and services.
  • We are licensed and insured.
  • Your satisfaction is our #1 concern. We back that up with actions, not words.

When Should You Consider Gutter Installation?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether you need new gutter installation or gutter repairs. The most reliable answer will come after our team has had a chance to inspect your gutters in Kiawah Island. Before you call our office to schedule an inspection, consider the following symptoms of a failing gutter system:

  • Gutters are starting to pull apart and separate.
  • Gutter guards are starting to sag and pull away from the roof.
  • The gutter hangers have begun to break or bend.
  • Downspouts are starting to crease or are no longer straight.
  • Gutters show signs of rust or have visible holes.
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Quick, Reliable Gutter Repairs in Kiawah Island, SC

Cleaning and repairing gutters can be a tiresome task. We understand that the last thing you want to do with your free time is to try and figure out how to repair your damaged gutters. However, gutters that are left unrepaired can cause extensive damage to your home and lawn. If you see that your gutters are damaged, you must get them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Gutter repairs range in complexity and can be as simple as patching a hole in one of your downspouts to re-securing gutters on your home’s fascia board. We recommend that you call our office to schedule a gutter inspection, so our team can get a full understanding of the repairs that need completing.

Here are a few signs that you should be aware of that usually require gutter repairs in Kiawah Island, SC:

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Pooling Water
Puddles of water accumulating near your home’s foundation
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Leaks
The next time it rains, grab your umbrella and check your gutters for signs of drips or leaks.
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Displaced Hardware
If you notice gutter-hanging hardware laying on the ground under the edge of your roof, it’s time to call in The Gutter Gorilla. This is a sign that your gutters aren’t fastened securely. One strong gust of wind or heavy rainstorm could cause serious damage to your gutter system.
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Mold
Check your basement and your attic for signs of mold growth. If you see any mold or mildew, your gutters might not be doing their job of directing water away from your home.
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Peeling Paint
Have you noticed that paint is starting to peel down the side of your house? Is there rust beginning to form on your gutters? If so, you could be dealing with a leak. Usually, the result of rust or a puncture, this type of problem needs to be patched by a professional
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Uneven Gutters
If your gutters are uneven or starting to sag in the middle, it’s not a good sign. In situations like these, pooling water will not be able to drain towards your corner downspouts. Eventually, the entire gutter will pull away from your home. It is highly recommended that you hire our team of professionals to repair this problem before it gets even worse.

The Trusted Choice for All Your Gutter Needs in Kiawah Island

At The Gutter Gorilla, our commitment is to provide you with an easy, care-free, educational experience. When you give us the opportunity to earn your business, you can trust that we will provide you with the highest quality gutter repair services at the best prices in the Lowcountry. From the moment we first visit your home for an inspection to the time we do our final walk though, your satisfaction is our top priority.

Ready to get started? Start your free estimate right from our website, or give our office a call today to learn more about our exceptional gutter services in Kiawah Island. We will handle the heavy lifting while you spend your free time enjoying life!

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Latest News in Kiawah Island

Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences Sell Out

WINTER PARK, Fla., Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Timbers Resorts, the leading developer and operator of luxury hotels, private residence clubs, master-planned resorts and boutique properties in the world's most exclusive ski, golf, leisure and beach destinations, is proud to announce today the closing and sell out of the highly sought-after Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & R...

WINTER PARK, Fla., Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Timbers Resorts, the leading developer and operator of luxury hotels, private residence clubs, master-planned resorts and boutique properties in the world's most exclusive ski, golf, leisure and beach destinations, is proud to announce today the closing and sell out of the highly sought-after Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences in Kiawah Island, S.C.

Final prices for the three-bedroom residences sold were $675,000 at a 1/9th deeded fractional interest and $1,700,000 for the Penthouse at 1/6th deeded fractional interest.

Perfectly positioned to meet the demand for drive-to markets and beach destinations, Timbers Kiawah was the first new residential development on Kiawah Island's oceanfront in over 30 years at the time of its opening and today remains the only private residence club on the island. Since its opening in 2018, Timbers Kiawah has seen record-breaking sales with $35.3M in combined new contracts and closings this year alone.

"Our owners love the turnkey aspect of ownership and the dedicated concierge that makes living in the Lowcountry effortless. We make your arrival as seamless as possible with groceries stocked, wine chilled, and surf toys and bikes ready for enjoyment," said Chris Burden, Chief Development Officer of Timbers Resorts. "It's much more than a piece of real estate. Our owners love the intimate private residence club feel and all the programming and activities that come with buying at Timbers Kiawah, from weekly happy hours and bourbon tastings to holiday parties."

Made up of 21 thoughtfully designed residences across three oceanfront buildings, the development is the first and only residence club on Kiawah Island, offering a completely new way to approach homeownership on the highly regarded island. Each home features panoramic views of the ocean and spacious interiors fit for families. Recognized as some of the most prized real estate on Kiawah Island, the 18 three-bedroom homes total over 2,200 sq. ft. each, while the development's marquee listings—its four-bedroom penthouses—boast over 3,600 sq. ft. of interior space. All residences feature floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive outdoor terraces and a host of high-quality finishes and furnishings – most of which were custom crafted by J. Banks Design, an international firm recognized by Interior Design as among the best in hospitality design.

The sell-out of Timbers Kiawah is just one example of the luxury real estate sales booming across the Timbers Resorts portfolio. As consumers continue to seek out a hybrid living lifestyle that owning a second home offers, Timbers Resorts provides an ideal and modern approach for astute buyers.

For more information, please visit www.timbersresorts.com.

About the Timbers Company:

Timbers Company, the company behind Timbers Resorts, is the leading developer and operator of luxury hotels, private residence clubs, master planned resorts and boutique properties in the world's most exclusive ski, golf, leisure and beach destinations. Timbers Company brands include Timbers Resorts and Soleil Hotels & Resorts. Since 1999, Timbers Resorts has been committed to being authentic, unique and respectful of the destinations in which the properties reside, focusing on family and immersive experiences, offering approachable luxury and never compromising quality and service. Timbers has taken that formula for success and launched a new brand – Soleil Hotels & Resorts – a luxury collection of hotels, resorts and whole ownership residences in tried-and-true destinations, offering owners and guests authentic and family-focused experiences. Timbers has extensive experience with master-planned resort communities, including properties such as Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy, The Preserve at Botany Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hokuala Resort in Kauai, Hawaii and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida. Timbers Collection has properties found in Aspen, Beaver Creek, Cabo San Lucas, Jupiter, Kauai, Kiawah Island, Maui, Napa, Scottsdale, Sonoma, Southern California, Steamboat, Tuscany and Vail.

For More Media Information:The Zimmerman Agency • 850.668.2222timberspr@zimmerman.com

SOURCE Timbers Company

The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection

Auberge Resorts Collection, a portfolio of award-winning hotels, resorts and residences, today announces plans for a new coastal escape in South Carolina with ...

Auberge Resorts Collection, a portfolio of award-winning hotels, resorts and residences, today announces plans for a new coastal escape in South Carolina with The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection. Located along the Charleston coastline in the waterfront community of Kiawah River, the property offers 2,000 acres of picturesque land with 20 miles of riverfront, scenic nature trails and abundant marshlands set amongst native flora and fauna. With the groundbreaking planned for January 2022, The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection, will be a charming, family-friendly getaway that invites guests to take in the simple pleasures of an authentic sea island lifestyle upon its opening in 2024.

With a commitment to quality and sustainability, The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection was thoughtfully designed to be consciously harmonious with the ecosystem that Kiawah River calls home. Renowned architect Robert Glazier was chosen to design the resort. His repertoire of hotels, resorts and spas carefully respect both the local architectural character and natural site features. Acclaimed designer Amanda Lindroth of Lindroth Design has been selected to lead the interior design of the property. Lindroth will inject a whimsical, layered aesthetic through classic, island-inspired interiors, sunny batik prints and soothing undertones to create accommodations reminiscent of the most elemental sea island homes of another era. The Dunlin's serenely hospitable resort and community embody the vision of Kiawah River's development partners, The Beach Company and McNair Interests, to curate a one-of-a-kind experience at one of South Carolina's most cherished destinations.

Currently planned with 72 cottage-style guest rooms and suites and 19 villas, the scenic grounds will feature a main lodge with a spacious wraparound porch, great rooms designed for unwinding and a library lounge. Resort amenities will include a pool with inviting cabanas, a full-service spa, a community farmstead providing dining destinations with local bounty, nature excursions, access to the community's Spring House and a riverfront swim and fitness facility.

Guests and locals will delight in inventive new culinary experiences at The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection. The signature riverfront restaurant will include an expansive outdoor deck overlooking Kiawah River's waters and natural vegetation. The resort will offer two event spaces for gatherings, meetings, and celebrations, including a 10,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor event hall for life's precious moments.

Its namesake honoring the beautiful local shorebird, The Dunlin's surroundings at Kiawah River showcase the region's abundance of natural offerings. A preserved estuary, the destination is vibrant with sea island life such as roseate spoonbills, great blue herons, redfish and oyster beds among moss-covered oaks and pines, creeks, ponds, and wide spans of marsh grasses along the water. One-of-a-kind experiences and activities for all ages include fly fishing, crabbing, and boating excursions, revealing the sea island's paradise that attracts paddle boarding on Kiawah River and hiking or biking on 20 miles of nature trails.

Kiawah River offers the rare opportunity to live in a vibrant, new waterfront community near historic Charleston. As the region's only agrihood, Kiawah River features multiple working farms, including a goatery, heirloom beef cattle and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that delivers fresh local food to residents and resort restaurants. Life at Kiawah River offers the simple pleasures of quiet country life while still being a short drive to the famed restaurants and attractions of downtown Charleston, voted #1 city in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure. Offering residences featuring classic sea island architecture, Kiawah River's master plan and amenities are designed by a world-renowned team specializing in sustainable designs. For more information, please visit www.kiawahriver.com.

The Dunlin, Auberge Resorts Collection's construction financing is provided by United Bank's Charleston, S.C. offices. "As United Bank is new to the market, we are excited to play a part in the development and construction of The Dunlin at Kiawah River and we look forward to its grand opening," said Clay K. Hughes, SVP commercial lending. The resort is expected to open in 2024. For more information, please visit aubergeresorts.com/the-dunlin.

Brand Owner

Auberge Resorts is a luxury hotel collection of exceptional resorts, residences and private clubs, each with a distinctive personality that assures a memorable guest experience. While Auberge Resorts nurtures the individuality of each establishment, all are characterized by a set of communal elements: intimate, understated elegance; captivating locations that inspire exceptional cuisine and spa experiences; and gracious yet unobtrusive service.

more information

Coastal Storm to Deliver Significant Coastal Flooding in Florida, Georgia, Carolinas

High pressure is building into the Northeast. Low pressure is now organizing and will soon track from the Gulf of Mexico to off the Southeast coast by Saturday. This difference in pressure will drive northeast winds along the Southeast coast.Tides will be higher than normal at the same time onshore winds are blowing due to the alignment of the new moon with the moon's closest approach to Earth. These tides are known as the perigean spring tides.Fortunately, this coastal flooding will be minor in the mid-Atlantic from New Jersey...

High pressure is building into the Northeast. Low pressure is now organizing and will soon track from the Gulf of Mexico to off the Southeast coast by Saturday. This difference in pressure will drive northeast winds along the Southeast coast.

Tides will be higher than normal at the same time onshore winds are blowing due to the alignment of the new moon with the moon's closest approach to Earth. These tides are known as the perigean spring tides.

Fortunately, this coastal flooding will be minor in the mid-Atlantic from New Jersey to Delaware. In these areas, it will be nothing close to the magnitude of last week's coastal flood event.

However, major coastal flooding at high tide is forecast at times into the weekend from parts of the North Carolina coast to Georgia. Significant coastal flooding is also forecast to occur as far south as northeast Florida, including the Jacksonville area. The southern end of the St. Johns River will also see some flooding.

Coastal flood alerts (warnings, watches and advisories) have been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for all of these locations.

Beach erosion, high surf and dangerous rip currents will also affect much of the Southeast coastline the next several days.

Charleston, South Carolina, is forecast to see major coastal flooding with the Saturday morning and Sunday morning high tides.

At these levels, widespread flooding occurs in downtown Charleston leaving numerous roads flooded and impacting some structures, according to the National Weather Service.

At least minor to moderate flooding is forecast in Charleston with each other morning and evening high tide through Monday.

Along the Georgia coast, flooding the next few mornings may reach levels high enough to inundate some parts of Tybee Island.

Saturday morning's high tide at Ft. Pulaski could near levels measured during an October 1947 Category 2 hurricane, possibly inundate highway 80 between Tybee Island and Savannah and flood buildings on Tybee Island, according to the National Weather Service.

Significant coastal flooding is forecast along the northeast Florida coast, including around the Jacksonville area. Moderate to major coastal flooding is expected along the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida with the Saturday morning high tide. These areas could see an inundation of 3 to 4 feet above normally dry ground, according to the NWS.

Farther north, water levels will peak on Sunday or Monday.

In North Carolina, major flooding is possible with Sunday morning's high tide in the northern Outer Banks.

And in Virginia, moderate coastal flooding is possible Sunday and again on Monday in the Virginia Tidewater area around Norfolk and Newport News as northeast winds push water toward those areas.

Coastal flooding should gradually subside early next week, however, swells generating high surf and rip currents at the beaches could last into Tuesday or even Wednesday from the Virginia Tidewater to Florida's Atlantic beaches.

Rainfall could only add to the flood threat in some areas. The low pressure system will deliver a soaking for much of northeast Florida, the eastern Carolinas into Georgia this weekend.

Parts of northeast Florida and eastern North Carolina could pick up over an inch of rain through Sunday. With water pushing from the ocean toward beaches, rivers won't be able to drain heavy rain as well, potentially leading to additional flooding.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Steve Agazzi wins Jenkins Links title at Charleston Municipal Golf Course

Steve Agazzi won the Jenkins Links Golf Association Club Championship played Nov. 20-21 at Charleston Municipal Golf Course, where he serves as the course superintendent.Agazzi posted a 36-hole score of 150. Stephen Perry was the net champion with a score of 146.Pat Harrington won the senior title with a score of 162 while Bubba Livingston was the senior net champion with a score of 146. Nabila Piper won the women’s title.All champions will represent Jenkins Links in the S.C. Golf Association Tournament of Champion...

Steve Agazzi won the Jenkins Links Golf Association Club Championship played Nov. 20-21 at Charleston Municipal Golf Course, where he serves as the course superintendent.

Agazzi posted a 36-hole score of 150. Stephen Perry was the net champion with a score of 146.

Pat Harrington won the senior title with a score of 162 while Bubba Livingston was the senior net champion with a score of 146. Nabila Piper won the women’s title.

All champions will represent Jenkins Links in the S.C. Golf Association Tournament of Champions.

CALGA at Seabrook

Cathy Martin of Seabrook won the field low gross title with a score of 83 while Mary Carney of Shadowmoss was the field low net winner with a score of 61 in the Charleston Area Ladies Golf Association (CALGA) tournament played Nov. 16 at Seabrook Island.

Flight winners: First - Diane Eberhard, Seabrook, 87 gross; Evie Wasson, Dunes West, 77 net. Second - Flo Gilson, Seabrook, 96 gross; Linda Travis, Rivertowne, and Candace Royer, Dunes West, 79 net. Third - Suzy Jones, Rivertowne, and Nancy Pondelik, Seabrook, 93 gross; Pat Slagle, Coosaw Creek, 77 net. Fourth - Melodie Murphy, Seabrook, 100 gross; Mary Basel, Shadowmoss, 78 net. Fifth - Stephanie Kelleher, Dunes West, 96 gross; Brenda Griffin, Wescott, 72 net. Sixth - Mary Driscoll, Dunes West, 104 gross; Mary Sudzina, Charleston Municipal, 75 net. Seventh - Chiaki Kight, Shadowmoss, 102 gross; Kim Brueggemann, Rivertowne, 75 net.

Rivertowne’s ‘Ace’

Rivertowne Country Club member Jay Nuckolls has par-3s at his home course figured out. On Nov. 21 during a member tournament, Nuckolls aced the eighth hole for his second hole in one of the month (third in three months and fourth in the past year). Nuckolls used a 7-iron from 146 yards. Dave Rossi and Jayson Tompkins were the witnesses. He aced No. 17 on Nov. 14. Nuckolls made a hole-in-one on No. 14 at Rivertowne on Dec. 27, 2020 and added another hole-in-one on April 17 at Rivertowne’s eighth hole.

Coming up

• March 4-6: Seventh annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship, TPC at Myrtle Beach, field of 90 boys and girls, player applications available at worldjuniorgolfchampionship.com.

Aces

Eddy Anthony, Nov. 2, Snee Farm Country Club, No. 7, 120 yards, gap wedge. Witnesses: Don Campbell, Joe Brant.

Peter Cotton, Nov. 17, Bulls Bay Golf Club, No. 17, 140 yards, 6-iron. Witness: Andy Cotton.

Mike Lynn, Nov. 17, Cassique-Kiawah Island Club, No. 7, 136 yards, rescue club. Witnesses: Jon Marsh, Jerry Sussman, Bob Kimmel.

Bobby Wilson, Nov. 17, Bulls Bay Golf Club, No. 17, 130 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Randy Glover, Terry O’Shaugnessy, Joe Padgette.

Jay Nuckolls, Nov. 21, Rivertowne Country Club, No. 8, 146 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Dave Rossi, Jayson Tompkins.

Dave Harper, Nov. 24, Bulls Bay Golf Club, No. 17, 145 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Kate Harper, Phil Tralies.

Rob McKee, Nov. 24, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, No. 4, 161 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Mike Mazza, Joey Polk, Mike Harrison.

Bob Miles, Nov. 27, Bulls Bay Golf Club, No. 12, 125 yards, pitching wedge. Witnesses: Bill Anderson, Josh Sapolich, Fred Thompson.

Brett Kelley, Nov. 28, Burn Kill-Wescott Golf Club, No. 6, 205 yards, 5-iron. Witnesses: Kane Ateshian, Darren Sanders, Colby Steere.

Andrew Slotin, Nov. 28, Patriots Point Links, No. 7, 129 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Travis Barnett, George Slotin.

A hole-in-one should be reported by the golf course. Please email aces to braswellsports@hotmail.com and to sportsdesk@postandcourier.com.

How South Carolina’s Kiawah Island strikes a balance between tourism and conservation

From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier b...

From inside of Voysey’s, the private restaurant that overlooks Kiawah Island’s Cassique course, a diner might be tricked into believing that this country club island is just like any other luxury destination. The windows that frame the course betray swaying grasses, moody greens and nearly imperceptible stick-figure golfers enjoying the splendor of one of the country’s most celebrated golf courses.

But the barrier island of Kiawah, some 25 miles south of Charleston, S.C., is more than a golf destination with premier beachfront homes. Kiawah Island has solidified itself as one of the most eco-friendly residential areas and tourist destinations in the United States, with conservation efforts dating back nearly half a century. Visitors are the beneficiaries of these extensive efforts, and the island is a rare example of how tourism and ecological concern can coexist.

In 1973, Kiawah Island established the Kiawah Turtle Patrol, an organization that tracks and protects the island’s native population of nesting loggerhead turtles. Soon after, Kiawah Investment, a Kuwaiti-owned company, purchased the island from heirs to a lumber company operator and, in 1975, conducted an environmental inventory of the island over the course of 16 months, studying natural habitats, wildlife and archaeological history, said Donna Windham, executive director of the Kiawah Conservancy.

The widespread inventory led to a master plan, which has since been enacted by the town of Kiawah, that combines environmental activism with tourism and leisure. “It was a whole new environment for them,” Windham said of the Kuwaiti effort. “They took it very seriously that this island was special.” Today, Windham said, the Kiawah Conservancy operates as a nonprofit land trust for the island, encouraging the protection of the environment by working in conjunction with landowners.

The conservancy, established in 1997, can hold land and issue easements. It has, to date, preserved “2,273 acres of Kiawah’s 10,000 acres,” according to the island’s website. In January 2000, Windham said, 152 acres of land known as Little Bear Island — a nesting destination for coastal birds such as the piping plover, peregrine falcon and osprey — were preserved by the Wetlands America Trust, part of the Ducks Unlimited nonprofit conservation group. The easement was updated in 2007 to include protection from the trust and the Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy.

As a traveler, you may see no concrete indication of the infrastructure that governs the island’s conservation. Yet the influence is everywhere, evident in the clamoring hermit crabs at the shoreline, the robust oyster beds that climb upward on the riverbanks, and the petite raccoons that scale trees at dusk in search of their next meal.

Close to the island’s Ocean Course, where a strip of cerulean is just visible beyond the marsh, a passerby might be privy to any number of natural encounters: alligators with snouts just visible in the pond water; hook-necked blue herons staring out into the palmettos; white-tailed deer bedding down beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. These moments, despite their frequency, arrive as a surprise in a place where golf clubs and impeccable architecture are the local currency.

But you’re more likely than not to encounter a wild animal during your visit, and that’s because Kiawah Island includes 3,000 acres of tidal salt marsh and 10 miles of shoreline, providing shelter for a variety of wildlife. According to town of Kiawah Wildlife Biologist Jim Jordan — his position was created in 2000 and, eight years later, Assistant Wildlife Biologist Aaron Given arrived — there are 315 species of birds, more than 30 species of mammals, more than 40 species of reptiles, more than 20 species of amphibians, and thousands of invertebrates that call the island home.

“It’s pretty unique,” Jordan said. It is, he said, “a functioning, intact ecosystem that’s working the way it would have worked if there were no houses there.”

One of the island’s most fascinating predators is the bobcat; the current bobcat population, Jordan said, is between 15 and 20. Four to six bobcats are collared by the biology team each year, so their movements can be tracked via GPS. “Visitors and residents can look at the tracking maps online and see where they’ve been,” he said.

Take a boat out onto the serene Kiawah River — you can book tours through the island’s sole resort, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort — and you’re bound to see a dolphin or two, gray fin slipping in and out of the water. These are the island’s bottlenose species, and they’re friendly, tracking vessels and providing the occasional show, flippers aflight. They also engage in a unique behavior known as “strand-feeding.”

“In a coordinated effort, they will basically force a school of fish or a school of shrimp up toward the bank,” Jordan said. “They beach themselves.” The western end of the island makes for good viewing of this behavior, although he warned that disrupting dolphins during their strand-feeds can be harmful. “It’s a learned behavior,” passed down from generation to generation, Jordan said. Should a strand-feed get interrupted, dolphins could abandon the behavior entirely, thus keeping future generations from learning how to eat in this location-specific manner.

The serenity experienced on this island oasis is thanks to more than just the work of the conservancy. At the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, for instance, an AAA five-diamond resort that was built in 2004, live, mature oak trees were transplanted to help promote the maintenance of the natural environment. “This really wasn’t required. It was just something that we did voluntarily, because we thought it was the right thing to do,” said Bryan Hunter, director of public relations for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The resort, he said, places a premium on conservation efforts, encouraging guests to immerse themselves in the local environment through organized boat trips to other barrier islands, alligator safaris and dolphin-viewing excursions. Visitors can also tag along with the Turtle Patrol in the morning in search of hatching and migration patterns (although that program has been greatly restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic). Some may even get to assist hatchling turtles, Hunter said. Those who join the Turtle Patrol outings look for nests, take notes and record observations about the year’s hatch.

One conservation effort enforced by island residents — including hoteliers — is the Lights Out for Sea Turtles initiative, which requires that beach-illuminating lights be turned off in the evenings during loggerhead nesting season. As Jordan pointed out, artificial light confuses hatchling turtles, often accidentally guiding them away from the ocean.

Low light pollution, Hunter said, is “vital.” “The resort, along with the rest of the island, through town ordinance, makes sure that we really carefully monitor light pollution along the beach, so that it doesn’t disorient nesting sea turtles or hatching sea turtles,” he said.

As the sun descends at dusk, there is a vibration in the air. Is it the cicadas, on their 17-year cycle? Or maybe just a faraway flock of birds? Whatever the origin of the ambient noise, it calls to mind a soothing bedtime melody, the kind you might slip into as you wind down into sleep.

Potential travelers should take local and national public health directives regarding the pandemic into consideration before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDC's travel health notice webpage.

This AAA five-diamond property has 255 guest rooms and suites, as well as multiple dining venues and direct beach access. Rooms from about $240.

Run by the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, this 1.5-hour boat excursion takes guests through creeks and marshes in search of the island’s native bottlenose dolphin population. $450 for up to six passengers.

Situated on the west end of the island, this ocean beach offers the only public access on Kiawah. Amenities include lifeguards, chair and umbrella rentals, restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and a picnic area with grills. Parking $5 to $15 per vehicle.

Guests can ask resident wildlife biologists about the local ecology and visit with some of the native and nonnative species, such as diamondback terrapins and a 10-foot-long Burmese python. The center’s gift shop sells handcrafted items made by local artists. Free.

Walk or bike this one-mile scenic trail that extends over the marsh to a lookout tower. Part of the larger Kiawah Island bike trails system, which covers about 30 miles, this trail is suitable for all ages.

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