LOCAL GROUP AIMS TO BAN PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS, WHICH ARE A DANGER TO MARINE LIFE

Plastic shopping bags, a popular convenience item, may soon no longer be available at your local grocery store. And for good reason: They are especially dangerous to coastal communities because they clog waterways, endanger sea creatures like birds, turtles and dolphins, and fill landfills and trash piles.

“GIVE A MAN A FISH, AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A DAY,” THE OLD SAYING GOES. “TEACH A MAN TO FISH, AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A LIFETIME.”

That’s true for women and kids, too, and a group of longtime fishermen from Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is out to teach the skill to anyone who wants to learn.

HURRICANE SEASON IS UNDERWAY AND IT’S A GREAT TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED.

THE SEASON IS FROM JUNE 1 TO NOV. 30, WITH THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY FOR A STORM STARTING MID-AUGUST AND ENDING LATE SEPTEMBER.

Since 1804, 12 hurricanes have had an impact on the area. The most recent was Hurricane Hugo in 1989. No damage was done on Hilton Head Island, but the mandatory evacuation took an economic toll. Floyd also came close in 1999, but only resulted in a few downed branches (although anyone who went through that evacuation will tell you it was a challenge, to say the least).

The ocean has been creeping closer for a long time, reaching higher onto our beaches, spilling onto our docks and roads, and lapping at our way of life. It has been a beloved neighbor, but it is not a welcome guest.

And most climate scientists say the ocean is not going to stop knocking on our doors.

“We have the data and we can’t ignore it,” said Kate Schaefer, Coastal Conservation League’s south coast director.

SAY YOUR PRAYERS AND PREPARE YOUR RITES — A RARE SOLAR ECLIPSE WILL GRACE THE LOWCOUNTRY ON MONDAY, AUG. 21.

Like a Beethoven symphony, the climax will be as short as it is powerful when the moon blots out the sun for about a minute. But for three hours, the two celestial orbs will converge in a dance that has its own name: syzygy (pronounced SIS-igy). No tickets are required for this matinee performance, starting at 1:13 p.m. and ending at 4:06 p.m. However, using special sunglasses is a must (Amazon has certified safe shades starting $14).

Gardens help attract colorful insects to the Lowcountry

Summer is the perfect opportunity to interact with butterflies in the Lowcountry, as their peak season falls between June and August. 

The dainty, often colorful insects get their energy from the heat, and the warmer the weather, the faster their metabolism works — and the faster the caterpillars turn into butterflies, according to Carlos Chacaon, the manager or natural history at the Coastal Discovery Museum.

Get out on the water during the second annual Keep The Broad Creek Clean Festival.

Conservation is written into the DNA of Hilton Head Island. From the time the first shovel full of dirt was pulled up in Sea Pines, the island has been developed in a way that works with nature, respecting the ecological wonder we call home.

Showing visitors the importance of area waterways

For the most part, the world paid no mind to Beaufort County during the first half of the 20th Century. The little bit of industry that was here arose from nature: logging, farming and fishing.

Then the German behemoth BASF came along in the 1960s and proposed a chemical plant on Victoria Bluff on the Colleton River. That changed everything. It rallied the residents, fishermen and a development in its infancy called Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. The coalition, called Friends of the Rivers, stopped the plant. Residents and businesses have remained vigilant ever since.

It is an act of faith to run into the ocean, not knowing what mysteries await in its depth. Walking the dog after sundown can quickly become an adventure if the right creature crosses your path in the dark. Even the benign-looking world of the salt marsh hides its secrets in billowing green cord grass; you have to get eye level to the marsh in a kayak to find the clues. In short, there is much we do not know, and much to discover.

A NEW CAREER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

On the fast track to success in the corporate world, Bill Eberlein earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Penn State University, worked as an accountant and later moved into the field of information technology.

In1999, he came to Savannah for a job at Gulfstream Aerospace — and found a new interest in some of his new home’s local residents. “I met a group of divers at Gulfstream who talked about shark teeth and I remember thinking, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. Why would anybody dive for those tiny teeth?” Eberlein said. But his co-worker brought in a megalodon tooth and he was hooked right away. “I just wanted to find one,” he said.