General Description and Location The coastal wetland impoundments of South Carolina are managed and formerly managed tidal wetlands. Impoundments generally occur from Georgetown County southward, coincident with the state’s most extensive tidal marshlands. Salinity regimes range from fresh to brackish, depending on water sources and management practices.
A diverse assemblage of rooted floating aquatics, such as white waterlily, American lotus, and pondweeds occupies managed freshwater impoundments. Emergent plants such as cattails, southern wild rice and pickerel weed are common. Submerged and free-floating aquatic plant species also occur and include duckweed, bladderwort, waterfern and fernwort. Managed brackish and intermediate emergent wetlands principally contain widgeongrass, saltmarsh bulrush and dwarf spikerush.
Emergent tidal marshes are common along the banks of canals of abandoned rice fields and modern-day waterfowl impoundments. Dominant species can include cutgrass (Zizaniopsis miliacea) or Jamaica swamp sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense). Intermixed among these grasses are various herbaceous plants such as pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), arrowheads (Sagittaria spp.) and alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Shrubs and trees are present in the more elevated areas of the tidal marsh community. Bald cypress-tupelo swamp communities occur on abandoned rice fields and swales inland of modern-day impoundments.
Highest Priority: High Priority: Moderate Priority
Glossy Ibis, Black Rail, Northern Pintail Pee Dee Lotic Crayfish : Black-necked Stilt, Tundra Swan
Tidal Fresh and Brackish Systems
General Description and Location Tidal fresh and brackish systems consist of a complex of marshlands, sandbars, mud flats, sand flats and waterways that are subject to mixing of salt and freshwater flows, usually in association with a freshwater source, such as a river delta. Substrates and vegetation communities include intertidal marsh, intertidal flat, intertidal sandbar, channels, Creeks, subtidal/submerged flat and emergent marsh. Vegetation is predominantly grasses, sedges and herbs with few trees; species makeup depends on salinity. Submerged vegetation may occur as well.
Associated Species Highest Priority:
Spotted Sandpiper, Black Skimmer, Lesser Scaup, Least Tern, Hickory
Shad, Black Skimmer Forster’s Tern, Spiny Softshell Turtle, Florida Green Water Snake,