Big Changes for SC7 Expedition 2024

Spring start date instead of Summer and a three-day resiliency conference in May

W. Thomas Smith Jr.

PLANS FOR THIS YEAR’S SOUTH CAROLINA 7 (SC7) expedition are in full swing with an advanced kickoff date (Spring launch instead of Summer), new tracks being mapped out for new destination stops, a three-day conference at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms near Charleston, S.C., and a conference registration start-date of February 16.

Unlike previous years when SC7 began July 1, this year’s monthlong expedition will begin on April 22, “Earth Day,” with its starting point in the Upstate as always.

Aside from the obvious cooler temps, the difference this year will be broader K-12 participation as schools will still be in session and students and faculty in every county will be invited to participate in trash-debris clean-ups wherein the schools collecting the most trash will be recognized during the SC7 Resiliency Conference at Wild Dunes, May 20-22.

“Earth Day kickoff makes perfect sense because of our mission,” says Dr. Tom Mullikin, SC7’s expedition leader who also serves as chairman of the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission. “As a result of our new Spring launch date I see us generating even greater participation from within the communities along our route than we did last year. And last year was phenomenal.”

The SC7 Resiliency Conference which opens a month into the expedition is said by SC7 officials to be the “first of its kind” and will foster an environment of learning, networking, and collaboration that will continue to position the Palmetto State as a leader in the global conversation on resiliency.

“This conference will be wholly unique in that it breaks down barriers and unites diverse sectors of health and wellness, conservation, and corporate sustainability,” says SC7’s Chief Logistics Officer Michelle McCollum, who also serves as president of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor. “These conversations and the merging of ideas between these distinct industries will showcase how S.C. is building healthy people and healthy places.”

Each year, SC7 involves a growing number of volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts, young and not-so-young – hiking, climbing, kayaking, rafting, and SCUBA diving – across South Carolina as they explore the Palmetto State’s seven named wonders and various on-trail and off-trail excursions in between. The seven designated wonders of the Palmetto State include Sassafras Mountain; the Jocassee Gorges; the Chattooga River; the Congaree National Forest; the Edisto River; the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Basin – universally referred to as the ACE Basin; and Bull Island-Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge: “Each one a unique geographical treasure,” says Mullikin.

The new 2024 SC7 field guide will be available March 1 with locations, dates, details, a little geography, a little history, and so much more.

Pictured (L-R) are SC7 Chief Logistics Officer Michelle McCollum, S.C. Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, and SC7 leader Dr. Tom Mullikin during last year’s SC7.

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