Wounded Nature works to clean Lowcountry's shores

By Gregory

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Thousands of pounds of debris washes up along Lowcountry shores every year, and one local nonprofit is taking on the task to clean it up.

Wounded Nature has spent the last three years cleaning up the shoreline -- not the popular beaches like Folly and Isle of Palms, but the ones that are forgotten.

"There are 2,900 miles of tidal coastlines in South Carolina; 141 miles of that coastline are the tourist beaches which are maintained fairly well by the city and by the state. The remaining 2,750 miles is what we look after," said Rudy Socha, CEO of Wounded Nature.

This weekend's cleanup covers a stretch along the south end of Daniel Island.

"On average we probably pick up about 30 cubic yards of debris, which can vary between 5 to 10 tons," said Socha.

Lou Winoski is the Chairman of the organization. He says the cleanups are about protecting the ecosystem.

"The food chain begins along the shoreline and those toxins and debris that are ingested by the lower parts of the food chain make their way in the upper parts of the chain and ultimately into the seafood that we consume," said Winoski.

"What we'll find is either reduced populations of oysters and shrimp in those areas or no oysters or shrimp in those areas at all," said Socha.

Socha says he has spoken with the Department of Natural Resources and has identified islands that are in critical condition.

"This year remaining on our list is Duck Island, Drum Island, and No Name Island out near John's Island," said Socha.

The next cleanup is June 21 on Drum Island. To volunteer call Rudy Socha (440) 452-1042 or email at