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).

If you live in the Lowcountry year-round, chances are your friends who live elsewhere are jealous. This area’s beautiful beaches, world-class resorts and wide selection of restaurants, shopping and activities make Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island and Bluffton a top vacation destination and a great place to call home. For those who decide to stay year-round, the Lowcountry’s many planned communities offer beautiful homes and unparalleled amenities.

What will it take to preserve native islander and Gullah traditions on Hilton Head Island?

It will start with money, good ideas and a commitment to set aside past differences and work together. Two recent developments indicate that local leaders are taking steps to achieve these goals.

The Town of Hilton Head formed the Gullah-Geechee Land and Cultural Preservation Task Force in June to address preservation, education and sustainability issues in the Lowcountry. Town Council member Marc Grant, who has close ties to the native islander community, is the group’s official community liaison.

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.

A look at a few of the Lowcountry’s most popular schools and institutions. Find a complete list of local schools online at hiltonheadmonthly.com.

John Paul II Catholic School

Address: 4211 N Okatie Highway, Ridgeland SC 29936
Type: Private
Grades: 9-12
Principal: Walter Dupre
Phone: 843-645-3838
Student Population: 200
Capsule: John Paul II Catholic School is in the business of educating our children for the challenges they will face in college and beyond. The school’s motto, “Nolite Timere” (Be Not Afraid), means we are constantly examining our courses offered and evaluating academic standards while creating an environment rich in spirituality, fine arts and athletics, where each child reaches their full potential. At the center of everything JPII does is our faith in God. We are blessed to partner with our parents to help our children grow in their faith.

NEW TECHNOLOGY PREPARES STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE.

Technology is woven in to the fabric of modern day life, and school is no exception. From social applications to business technology, today’s students will be surrounded by new gadgets and systems at home and in the workplace. Local schools are preparing students for future success while keeping technology and learning fun, individualized and approachable.

IT’S RAINING, IT’S POURING, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S BORING.

So you’ve arrived on Hilton Head Island for a week of sunny vacation bliss, baking under the rays while you sip a cool piña colada with your toes in the sand.

Well first of all, not to burst your bubble, but alcohol isn’t allowed on Hilton Head’s beaches.

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).

SALT WATER. CHLORINE. SALINE. FRESH WATER. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE, AND HOW DO THEIR MAINTENANCE NEEDS COMPARE? LET’S DIVE IN.

Over the past 10 years, saltwater pools have become more popular in the Lowcountry, according to Year Round Pool vice president Jeff Fotia. He says over time, he’s seen customers seeking a pool option that requires fewer chemicals like chlorine — but saltwater pools aren’t completely chlorine-free.

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.