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Get the 411 on environmental organizations in Charleston

...and how to get involved.


Volunteers and partners with Lowcountry Land Trust assist in recycling oyster shells.

Photo by @lowcountrylandtrust

Table of Contents

If you’ve ever wondered how you can get involved with local efforts to keep our community in tip-top shape, this one’s for you.

From waterway restoration to wildlife protection, there are plenty of organizations throughout the Holy City to lend a hand. Here are eight environmental groups to have on your radar.

Charleston Waterkeeper

Charleston Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore our waterways through data-driven advocacy and stewardship. The organization hosts frequent volunteer events, from shell sorting to seed planting.

Coastal Conservation League

This nature conservation organization was established in 1989 and works to protect natural resources and dependent wildlife, featuring four program areas:

  • Land, Water, and Wildlife
  • Communities and Transportation
  • Energy
  • Food and Agriculture (GrowFood Carolina is the organization’s food hub)

Learn about work in the Charleston region here. To get involved, sign up for updates or volunteer at an event.

Lowcountry Land Trust

Lowcountry Land Trust has worked to permanently safeguard the Lowcountry landscape through partnerships with community organizations and landowners since 1986.

To date, Lowcountry Land Trust has protected 150,000+ acres of land predominantly through conservation easements.

Find upcoming events and sign up for the email newsletter for the scoop on volunteer opportunities and conservation news.

Charleston Moves

This nonprofit believes “progress is people-powered” and advocates for transportation by foot, on a bicycle, or by public transit to enhance the well-being of neighborhoods, residents, and business districts in the Holy City.

Charleston Moves also supports safe and connected infrastructure for mobility in Charleston County, with involved efforts in local projects including the Ashley River Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge and the Better Northbridge Project.

The best way to stay updated is through the email newsletter. Plus: Sign up to volunteer.


Participate in a beach clean-up with Charleston Surfrider.

Photo by @charlestonsurfrider

Charleston Surfrider

This volunteer-based grassroots nonprofit advocates for clean water, equitable access to beaches, and natural shoreline protection to preserve waterways, beaches, and oceans.

Lend a hand with the Charleston chapter. Efforts include an Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, organized beach cleanups, and single-use plastic reduction advocacy. Follow along on Instagram to find upcoming events.

Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network

Ever thought about adopting a dolphin? That’s one way to support the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network, which works to protect local marine mammals through increased awareness, educational outreach, and scientific research.

Join the membership program or become a volunteer for dolphin monitoring or stranding response.

Charleston Green Drinks

Connection and collaboration are the ideas behind this self-organizing network of community members looking to learn about environmental resources and opportunities locally. The full schedule of monthly events features topics like climate change and clean energy.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Said to “serve as the principal advocate for and steward of South Carolina’s natural resources,” SCDNR highlights a handful of volunteer opportunities, dubbed Citizen Science Opportunities, through the organization and its partners.

Efforts include lending a hand at the SC Aquarium, reporting sights of banded shorebirds, and becoming a certified SCDNR fishing instructor.

The best part? This isn’t a comprehensive list. There are even more leaders in the community working to preserve and protect our environment for years to come.