Coastal Conservation League 25th Anniversary Conference:
Prosperous Lowcountry, Flourishing Planet
May 8-9, 2013
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC
Over the past quarter century, the Coastal Conservation League and our conservation allies have substantially shaped the future of the South Carolina Lowcountry. We have helped citizens understand the importance of the landscapes that surround us and given them the confidence and the tools to fight for the places we all love.
The next 25 years will be even more critical for the Lowcountry. We will discover whether the residents of our region can choose a course that protects and enhances our natural ecosystems and human communities, and whether we will play a positive role in sustaining the global environment.
This undertaking demands that we come together as a community to reflect on the past and explore a path forward. Please join us on May 8th and 9th for a conversation about how to achieve the vision of a prosperous Lowcountry and a flourishing planet.
During this two-day conference we will be alerted to the status of the world’s environment and we will work together to discover what our role should be in repairing and enhancing it. These two days will reveal the magnitude of the challenges we face and inspire us to act with purpose and conviction. We will confront our moral responsibility to the planet and the future, and learn about the spiritual and religious foundations that have inclined us to protect or abuse nature. We will also explore the critical questions of how our economic systems can better align with the goal of a sustainable planet, and how a more robust democracy can advance conservation.
In the absence of national and global action, we must lead from the local level. This makes it safer for national and international leaders to act. It was true in 2005 and even more so today.
Leadership in America on these issues will, as it always does, come from forward-thinking municipalities, states and regions where the impacts occur, the costs are felt, and where government and people more quickly and effectively bond together in solutions than we are able to at the national level.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Coastal Conservation League is one of the finest regional environmental groups in the country. I shudder to think what would have happened to the SC coastal plain without its 25 years of vigilant, inspired effort. Now CCL is looking ahead to the next 25 and asking itself what it is going to take to restore and to sustain people and planet in a particular place of great human, cultural and biological wealth.
The bridge between global and local needs to be wide and inviting. It needs to make what seem to be distant, and often abstract, global concerns seem real and immediate to folks at the local level.
Imagine an economy in which life is valued more than money and power resides with ordinary people who care about one another, their community, and their natural environment. It is possible. Millions of people are living it into being. Our common future hangs in the balance.
Our collective challenge is to engage people at a local level for the conservation of our ecosystems, to do that we need to do in order to move from a sense of independence to one of interdependence. We are part of these ecosystems we are conserving and they are part of us. This mutual indwelling of people in place is a way forward for the flourishing of our planetary life.