"Our Maritime Forest: On the Edge"


"Our Maritime Forests: On the Edge"- New work by Laura W. Adams

Mystic Osprey Gallery
Habersham Marketplace
23B Market #1
Beaufort, SC
May 7 - June 30, 2021

Opening night, May 7th 4-6 pm

Maritime forests are increasingly rare coastal ecosystems supporting a diversity of plants and animals. Hardy species of trees and bushes withstand high winds, periodic salt water flooding, and salt spray. Mammals and reptiles make the forests their home, and thousands of birds migrate through these forests each year.

edge of maritime forest screen

When these forests thrive, the surrounding ecosystems thrive as well. Root systems prevent topsoil from washing away during storms and help purify and contain groundwater. Tree canopies slow down winds and provide a resting place for migrating and breeding bird populations. Larger, robust trees shield smaller trees, creating a more diverse environment.

However, these forests are increasingly threatened by human related activity. Climate change has caused sea level rise. When the ocean expands, the salt marsh, the maritime forest, and the creatures that rely on these habitats, decrease.

Maritime forests are also increasingly threatened by fresh water intrusion. Roads and buildings and sewer systems cause an influx of fresh water into brackish water systems around the forests, upsetting the salinity balance. The fish and birds and animals relying on the brackish water estuaries suffer declines in their habitat and food supply.

The protection of more of these amazingly beautiful areas is key to ensuring their survival. The more protected area we have, the more species we will see thriving along the coastline. Not only does protection help the wildlife, but it ensures the enrichment of human lives now and in the future.

The Port Royal Sound Foundation has been a leader in protecting the maritime forest in this region. We are partnering with this foundation in this show of art by Laura W. Adams to help bring more awareness of not only the beauty of the maritime forest, but of the need to enhance its protections.