About the South Carolina Ecological Services Field Office
The Service has one Ecological Services Office located in Charleston. Established in 1973, the South Carolina Field Office (SCFO) primarily focuses on protection and recovery of threatened and endangered species while also actively supporting conservation of migratory birds, anadromous fish, and wetlands. The SCFO covers 46 counties spanning over 31,000 square miles with 187 miles of general coastline, and works with 13 threatened or endangered animal species, 19 threatened or endangered plant species, and approximately 70 other animal and plant species deemed to be “At Risk Species”. “At Risk Species” (ARS) are those species that have either been proposed for listing, are candidates for listing, or have been petitioned for listing. The SCFO also coordinates closely with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to address priority species outlined in their South Carolina Wildlife Action Plan.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ecological Services Program provides national leadership for the conservation of species and the habitats on which they depend, including species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Coastal Barrier Resources Protection Act, the Clean Water Act and more. Through leadership in conserving coastal areas and wetlands, restoring natural resources injured by hazardous substances, environmental reviews of federal projects, listing and recovery of candidate, threatened, and endangered species, and management of decision support and mapping tools, the Ecological Services Program works closely with our partners to conserve the nation's fish, wildlife, plans and habitat.
The SCFO works in partnership with the National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries in the state. There are eight National Wildlife Refuge units in the state, encompassing over 192,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat that provide exceptional recreational opportunities for the public. There are also two National Fish Hatcheries in the state – Bears Bluff and Orangeburg National Fish Hatcheries. In addition to the 17 SCFO staff, other co-located staff include a Service Law Enforcement Special Agent that enforces Federal wildlife protection laws and international conventions and treaties, a Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Coordinator, and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Coordinator.
Please enjoy a brief video highlighting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ecological Services Mission
- Conduct consultation, habitat conservation planning activities, and candidate conservation activities under the Endangered Species Act;
- Reduce impacts to fish, wildlife, and their habitats in the state from federally funded or authorized projects (e.g. - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) activities);
- Restore habitat through the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Coastal programs;
- Conserve wetlands through the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act;
- Identify, reduce, and prevent contamination of fish and wildlife resources through technical assistance, investigations, monitoring, and technical reviews of environmental contaminant issues;
- Protect the ecological integrity of our National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries statewide;/li>
- Conserve migratory birds; and
- Conduct education and outreach activities in support of fish and wildlife conservation.
Services Provided to
- Private citizens.
- Community groups, local governments and schools.
- Conservation Partners;
- Other Federal and State agencies seeking approval on federally funded activities that may impact federally listed species, wetlands, migratory birds, anadromous fish, and other trust resources.
- Review of over 500 federally funded, licensed, or permitted projects annually for potential impacts to wetlands, endangered species, and other fish and wildlife.
- Coordinate habitat conservation planning efforts in S.C. with private landowners, State agencies, and with the Service's Regional Office.
- Serve as the base-of-operations for the Service's South Carolina Coastal Ecosystems program.
- Provide technical assistance to U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies in the implementation of conservation provisions of Farm Bill.
- Provide technical assistance to EPA and South Carolina on investigation and cleanup of contaminant sites.