News Release

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Hilton Head Island Recognized for Environmental Excellence with Designation as a Certified Audubon Sustainable Community

October 29, 2021

The Town of Hilton Head Island has retained its designation as a "Certified Audubon Sustainable Community" through the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program.

Sally Krebs, Sustainable Practices Coordinator for the Town, led the effort to maintain certification status and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Hilton Head Island was designated as an Audubon International Certified Sustainable Community in 2017 and is one of three communities in South Carolina to receive the honor.

"We are proud to once again receive this designation in recognition of our commitment to sustain our Island environment through a number of preservation efforts such as protecting trees, beach dunes and wildlife," said Marc Orlando, Town Manager. "Our natural resources contribute significantly to Hilton Head Island's character and appeal. Our staff and our policies ensure that we are able to protect and enjoy our environment, wildlife and natural spaces"

The Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program provides information and guidance to help communities preserve and enhance what makes them healthy and vibrant places to live, work, and play. Certified members have defined a vision for their future founded in the three pillars of sustainability-a healthy local environment, quality of life for citizens, and economic vitality.

"The Town of Hilton Head Island has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program," said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International." They are to be commended for their exceptional work on restoring the dunes after Hurricane Matthew by planting 140,000 native plants and installing over 35,000 feet of fencing while still providing habitat for piping plovers, nesting sea turtles, and more."

Additionally, the Town’s environmental sustainability program includes extensive public education. Krebs said the Town is involved with the Lowcountry Stormwater Partners, a consortium of Beaufort County, the towns of Hilton Head Island, Port Royal, Beaufort and Bluffton; and Clemson Extension. Together, they aim to educate the public on stormwater issues in the county. The Town also uses social media to educate the public on its sustainability efforts. Information about biodiversity of the island and its importance, pollinators, wetland buffers, the beach environment and plastic pollution is shared frequently on the Town’s Facebook page.

To maintain certification, a community must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a majority of areas. Members maintain certification status in the Sustainable Communities Program by demonstrating continuous progress towards goals in the plan under fifteen focus areas. Communities go through a recertification process every three years. For more information on about sustainable community efforts, visit

About Audubon International

Audubon International is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, properties, new developments, and entire communities. Through the Sustainable Communities, Audubon International works to help community leaders and stakeholders embrace environmental stewardship and sustainability as a central element of planning, policies, and practices. For more information, contact Audubon International at 518- 767-9051 or, or visit the website at

Carolyn Grant, Communications Director

Kim Hill, Environmental Program Manager, Audubon International