Our family loves Hilton Head Island (HHI) for a variety of reasons. First, my husband and I got married there. What drew us there before marriage was the island’s dog-friendliness. But then we discovered some other things about the island, besides its natural beauty, cleanliness, and great restaurants.
There are no billboards or neon signs littering the landscape because ordinances keep signs low and unobtrusive. No building can be taller than the trees. Hilton Head also has a sea turtle protection project. The town requires light structures visible from the beach to be covered or turned off between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am during nesting and hatching season, which spans from May through October.
We’ve taken many trips to HHI, including this past weekend, and we had a wonderful and relaxing time. Of course, we saw beautiful sunsets and sunrises. We witnessed a full rainbow, which was my first time seeing one (see my pitiful attempt at a panoramic image above). We saw a stingray trapped in a tidal pool, which was cool to see up close. We alerted someone who was able to move it back to the ocean. And we saw a ghost crab up close – so cool!
A Clean Beach
I mentioned that Hilton Head Island is very clean, especially compared to other beaches we’ve visited. Since we are a family that cleans up litter and trash, we pay attention. So for a clean beach, here’s some of the trash we picked up and posted on the Litterati app:
Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? It wasn’t compared to other litter pick-ups I’ve seen or been involved with. We found straws which I’ve determined to be the evilest single-use disposable plastic thing in use! We found cigarette butts, pieces of Styrofoam, and microplastics. The image of the bag of trash was from a garbage can that blew over during high winds and the trash scattered. We collected all we could but it was far too windy to try and photograph each piece. The contents of it were mainly single-use disposable drink bottles. We found some beach toys, as we usually do. I promise we didn’t take these from someone! They sat abandoned for a long time, and I didn’t want them to wash out to sea during high tide!
Plastic Bag Ban!
On our last evening, we stopped at the ice cream shop. As I was paying, I saw a sign posted by the register, and I think I startled the clerk with my excited reaction!
The Town of Hilton Head Island passed this ordinance in January 2018. It does not ban all plastic bags, such as produce and meat bags; however, it is a huge, progressive step in the right direction. Eating my ice cream, I felt inspired – could I get that ordinance passed in my city? What a huge task that would be…but maybe I could do it.
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All photos in this article were taken by me.