Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina

Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina

Botany Bay is a 4,687-acre wildlife preserve located on Edisto Island. It came under the management of the SC Department of Natural Resources in 2008 as a part of the agency’s Wildlife Management Area Program.

The area’s location near the North Edisto River places it within the boundary of the ACE Basin Focus Area, one of the largest remaining relatively undeveloped wetland ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast. Botany Bay Plantation WMA with Botany Bay Island (under conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy) and Deveaux Bank form a core area of protected habitat in the eastern corner of the Focus Area.

Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina

The biological features of Botany Bay Plantation WMA are characteristic of Sea Islands along the lower Southeast coast. The undeveloped coastal habitats of the management area are important to numerous wildlife species. The beach is utilized for nesting by the federally-threatened loggerhead sea turtle and the state-threatened least tern. The maritime forest and coastal scrub/shrub areas provide nesting and foraging habitat for neotropical songbirds including painted buntings and summer tanagers. The uplands support a wide diversity of wildlife. The tidal marshes and managed wetlands contain a variety of fish and shellfish resources and provide foraging habitat for numerous wildlife species.

The cultural resources on Botany Bay Plantation WMA are extremely significant. Cultural resource sites dating from as early as the Late Archaic Period through the 19th century are present. Several sites including the Fig Island Shell Rings, outbuildings from Bleak Hall Plantation and elements of the Alexander Bache U.S. Coast Survey Line are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

History of Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina

The early history of Botany Bay can be traced back to two plantations – Bleak Hall Plantation and Sea Cloud Plantation. Bleak Hall was originally developed by the Townsend family in the early 1800s. By the mid-1800s, owner John Townsend had purchased the adjoining Sea Cloud Plantation and was producing more cotton than any other plantation in South Carolina. Townsend was renowned for the quality of his sea island cotton, a variety prized for its unusually long and silky fibers.

About a year after South Carolina’s secession from the Union, Edisto Island was evacuated and subsequently occupied by the Union army. The Civil War proved devastating to the island and its plantations. Townsend and his descendants worked hard to rebuild what was left and continued producing the famous sea island cotton until the early 1920s, when the boll weevil all but destroyed the cotton industry in South Carolina.

Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina

The plantations remained in the Townsend family until the 1930s, when Dr. James Greenway combined them and renamed the property Botany Bay Plantation. Botany Bay was acquired by John Meyer in 1973. Before Meyer died in 1977, he deeded the property to the state to be used as a wildlife preserve, but only after the death of his wife, Margaret.

While living there during the remainder of her lifetime, Margaret took great care to protect the land and to foster a diverse array of habitats throughout the property, including maritime forests, salt marshes, tidal creeks, and hammock islands.

Today, recreational opportunities at Botany Bay include seasonal hunting, catch and release fishing, birding, and an interpretive driving trail.

Sunrise in Botany Bay, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Sunrise in Botany Bay, Edisto Island, South Carolina
Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolinahttp://i1.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/56.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024http://i1.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/56.jpg?resize=150%2C150 Damien Lucian Travel & Tourism,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina Botany Bay is a 4,687-acre wildlife preserve located on Edisto Island. It came under the management of the SC Department of Natural Resources in 2008 as a part of the agency’s Wildlife Management Area Program. The area's location near the North Edisto River places...
<h2>Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina</h2> Botany Bay is a 4,687-acre wildlife preserve located on Edisto Island. It came under the management of the SC Department of Natural Resources in 2008 as a part of the agency’s Wildlife Management Area Program. The area's location near the North Edisto River places it within the boundary of the ACE Basin Focus Area, one of the largest remaining relatively undeveloped wetland ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast. Botany Bay Plantation WMA with Botany Bay Island (under conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy) and Deveaux Bank form a core area of protected habitat in the eastern corner of the Focus Area. <div style="text-align: center;"><dl id="attachment_301"><dt><a href="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/OakSC_EN-US9726852352_1366x768.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" alt="Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina" src="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/OakSC_EN-US9726852352_1366x768.jpg" width="900" height="506" /></a></dt><dd>Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina</dd></dl></div> The biological features of Botany Bay Plantation WMA are characteristic of Sea Islands along the lower Southeast coast. The undeveloped coastal habitats of the management area are important to numerous wildlife species. The beach is utilized for nesting by the federally-threatened loggerhead sea turtle and the state-threatened least tern. The maritime forest and coastal scrub/shrub areas provide nesting and foraging habitat for neotropical songbirds including painted buntings and summer tanagers. The uplands support a wide diversity of wildlife. The tidal marshes and managed wetlands contain a variety of fish and shellfish resources and provide foraging habitat for numerous wildlife species. The cultural resources on Botany Bay Plantation WMA are extremely significant. Cultural resource sites dating from as early as the Late Archaic Period through the 19th century are present. Several sites including the Fig Island Shell Rings, outbuildings from Bleak Hall Plantation and elements of the Alexander Bache U.S. Coast Survey Line are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. <h2>History of Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina</h2> The early history of Botany Bay can be traced back to two plantations - Bleak Hall Plantation and Sea Cloud Plantation. Bleak Hall was originally developed by the Townsend family in the early 1800s. By the mid-1800s, owner John Townsend had purchased the adjoining Sea Cloud Plantation and was producing more cotton than any other plantation in South Carolina. Townsend was renowned for the quality of his sea island cotton, a variety prized for its unusually long and silky fibers. About a year after South Carolina’s secession from the Union, Edisto Island was evacuated and subsequently occupied by the Union army. The Civil War proved devastating to the island and its plantations. Townsend and his descendants worked hard to rebuild what was left and continued producing the famous sea island cotton until the early 1920s, when the boll weevil all but destroyed the cotton industry in South Carolina. <div style="text-align: center;"><dl id="attachment_302"><dt><a href="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/l_botany_bay_road.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" alt="Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina" src="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/l_botany_bay_road.jpg" width="668" height="438" /></a></dt><dd>Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, South Carolina</dd></dl></div> The plantations remained in the Townsend family until the 1930s, when Dr. James Greenway combined them and renamed the property Botany Bay Plantation. Botany Bay was acquired by John Meyer in 1973. Before Meyer died in 1977, he deeded the property to the state to be used as a wildlife preserve, but only after the death of his wife, Margaret. While living there during the remainder of her lifetime, Margaret took great care to protect the land and to foster a diverse array of habitats throughout the property, including maritime forests, salt marshes, tidal creeks, and hammock islands. Today, recreational opportunities at Botany Bay include seasonal hunting, catch and release fishing, birding, and an interpretive driving trail. <div style="text-align: center;"><dl id="attachment_303"><dt><a href="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Botany-Bay-1NewCannon.jpg"><img class="aligncenter" alt="Sunrise in Botany Bay, Edisto Island, South Carolina" src="http://xfoxnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Botany-Bay-1NewCannon.jpg" width="897" height="600" /></a></dt><dd>Sunrise in Botany Bay, Edisto Island, South Carolina</dd></dl></div>