Friends of the Edisto, Inc. (FRED), a non-profit organization, was established in 1998 to facilitate conservation of natural resources and to encourage and support sustainable economic development within the Edisto River Basin in South Carolina. The Edisto River Basin contains the longest free-flowing blackwater river in America, and encompasses twelve counties, including much of the midlands and low country areas of South Carolina.
FRED is an educational and advocacy organization supporting the implementation of the recommendations from the Edisto River Basin Task Force. This 200-member South Carolinian public/private partnership applied advanced planning and mapping techniques and carefully surveyed resources of the basin. The result was a 225 page comprehensive guide ‘Managing Resources for a Sustainable Future: The Edisto River Basin Project Report’ which inventoried resources and suggested long term planning policies for the Basin. (View Edisto River Basin Project Report online - https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzT1zjFQgL0VRVREOU82SkxwRVE/edit?pli=1).
The mission of the Friends of the Edisto is to protect and enhance the natural and cultural character and resources of the Edisto River Basin through conservation and responsible use.
The health, stability, and beauty of natural systems are essential to human well-being. Wise and responsible human activities will identify and protect sensitive natural and cultural resources and will use management and development techniques designed to protect and enhance the soil, water, air, and wildlife habitat.
Sustainable Economic Development
A robust and sustainable local economy provides an improved standard of living and quality of life for current and future residents of the Edisto River Basin and will foster conservation and responsible use of the natural and cultural resources in the basin.
Local Decision Making
Local governments that have accurate information and well-reasoned objectives for providing services and directing infrastructure development are best qualified to make land-use planning decisions that both protect natural and cultural resources and encourage economic development.
Incentives and Information
Responsible landowners, when given accurate information and appropriate incentives, will protect and enhance natural and cultural resources while also supporting the local economy and contributing to a tax base.
Research and Information Based Actions
Policies, positions, and project initiatives should be based on thorough research of the best available information and communication with interested and affected parties to identify necessary or desirable courses of action.
Improving the stewardship of our resources requires targeted education and advocacy, technical assistance, and research efforts. The recommendations and resource assessment maps of the Edisto River Basin Task Force provide guidance as presented in the 1996 publication, Managing Resources for a Sustainable Future: The Edisto River Basin Project Report (view online - https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzT1zjFQgL0VRVREOU82SkxwRVE/edit?pli=1). This report offers valued guidelines and principles for future economic development and resource conservation in the Basin. In addition, accepted "best management practices" provide guidelines to landowners and developers for conserving natural and cultural resources.
A diversity of active members and partners representing various socioeconomic groups and public or private organizations from throughout the Edisto River Basin will strengthen the organization and its mission. (Link to FRED membership page - http://www.edistofriends.org/catalog/3).
Strategies for Success
Accurate information about the location and importance of natural and cultural resources is essential to plan for sustainable growth.
Proactive land use planning using accurate information is necessary to protect and enhance natural and cultural resources and facilitate sustainable growth.
Environmental education provides the background and information citizens need to insist on the protection of natural resources as a necessary first step for economic growth.
In most situations, positive incentives are more effective than additional rules and regulations for protecting and enhancing natural and cultural resources.
Strict enforcement of existing legal restrictions protecting natural and cultural resources will ensure fair treatment to all stakeholders in the Basin.
To provide economic growth, proactively attract industries that create value-added products from the Basin's natural resources and minimize harmful waste streams.
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THE EDISTO BASIN PROJECT