Ben Turner, owner of Native Guide Tours took us on a two-hour May River kayak excursion yesterday. It was a great way to learn some things about the local environment. For one, Ben says pet waste is the biggest threat to the river at the present time. He said people think golf courses are the worst offender, but they’re not because the fertilizer they use for the most part drains back into course holding ponds (by design).

We saw dolphins actively feeding throughout the paddle. Ben explained how the dolphins stun fish by slamming into them with their sides. We also watched as dolphins worked together to corral fish up against sand bars and the river’s banks. At one point Ben said, “Dolphins are all muscle and teeth,” negating the Flipper image we like to hold onto (even as adults). We also saw a stingray, ducks, a variety of seabirds, osprey, oysters, Spartina grass and pluff mud.

At the end of the trip Ben mentioned that the May River had a Triple-A rating when he was growing up here, but it has since slipped to an A rating. He claimed the May needs the help of legal professionals at this time. He said local environmental group Friends of the River does a good job executing its educational mission, but their work needs to be complimented by the threat of litigation to keep unchecked development from ruining the quality of life in Bluffton.

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Lowcountry, The Environment