Photo credit: Judy Fairchild, Dewees Island SC

Wild animals and the Lowcountry landscape I call home are woven into my stories. They are so vital they actually become characters in my novels. But they are much more than that. As I bring awareness to the fascinating species in my novels, I hope you come to care—and take care. That is the power of story. These animals, like the brown pelican in my novel BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT, do so much more than add beauty to our world. They are essential to the delicate balance of our ecosystem. And they need our care to thrive. Specifically, a vital pelican island.


Recently, I received a call for help from Audubon South Carolina. Audubon has joined with other local organizations, including The Coastal Conservation League and the SC Department of Natural Resources, for a grassroots effort to save Crab Bank in the Charleston Harbor. This tiny island located at the mouth of Shem Creek has been home to thousands of nesting pelicans and other birds and is considered a vital nesting spot for the Brown Pelicans.  38% of nesting Brown Pelicans in the southeast nest in South Carolina!  An here’s the problem: According to Audubon, “Due to erosion from increasing wakes and a series of intense hurricanes, this Seabird Sanctuary Island is now experiencing its first year ever with zero nests.”



The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) wants to use a scheduled Charleston Harbor dredging project to restore Crab Bank. According to the US Army Corp of Engineers, the restored bird sanctuary will be 28 acres with plenty of high-ground nesting habitat. The Corps of Engineers estimates that it will take 50 years for Crab Bank to erode back to a half-acre, which is enough time to hatch tens of thousands of young birds.



You can help make this happen!  We need $2 million by December 2018.  That’s a lot of money in little time.  If you read BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT, you’ll remember the sweet pelican that was rescued.  That pelican was likely born on Crab Bank.  To assure more pelicans will nest here safely, won’t you make even a small donation?  100% of your donation will go to the pelicans!

Please visit

The pelican is an iconic symbol of the Lowcountry.  We all love to look up see them gliding overhead in V-formation, dive-bombing the waves for fish, bobbing on the salty creeks and resting like statues on pilings at the boat docks. Together we can all be a part of preserving pelicans by being a part of the “Save Crab Bank” project.


  1. Maria Norcia Santillanes on August 7, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Yes, I’ll donate!

    • Mary Alice Monroe on August 9, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Maria, thank you so much!

Leave a Comment