On Wednesday, we celebrated the biggest Green Tie Award Luncheon in CVSC history. More than 500 people showed up for our 9th annual luncheon to support our fight to protect the South Carolina we love.
I’m incredibly proud. And exhilarated.
I watched as Wilma Neal Garren accepted the House Conservation Leadership Award on behalf of her late brother, Representative Joe Neal — a constant voice for clean water and environmental justice who fought to improve the lives and well-being of all South Carolinians.
I cheered as Dr. Dave Hargett, the voice for the waters of the Upstate, accepted the Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award for his lifelong devotion to thoughtful, science-based solutions and policies that have made an enduring impact on the rivers and lakes of South Carolina.
I listened as Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling spoke about receiving the Harriet Keyserling Conservation Advocacy Award — an award named in honor of his mother — for being an unwavering advocate for South Carolina’s coastal communities.
And I applauded as Senator Thomas McElveen and Representative Gary Clary earned Legislative Leadership Awards for their work to defend important legal protections for our air, land, and water.
Standing in a packed Grand Hall at 701 Whaley — in a room filled with business owners, elected leaders, state agency chiefs, and many of our state’s finest conservation activists — I once again witnessed the gravity of our work.
As I stood on the Green Tie stage and looked out at the largest audience in the event’s history, I had one more reaction…
… I was motivated.
I could see it on the 500-plus faces in that room: There was pride in our many shared accomplishments, but there was also an understanding that the fight for clean air, land, water and energy is far from over.
And there was a sense that THIS is our moment.
Now, in the days following the biggest Green Tie ever, is the time for South Carolinians to speak out alongside our elected officials, business leaders and community activists to send a clear message that conservation matters to all of us.
We need to keep the momentum going…
The stakes are very high:
In the wake of the recent V.C. Summer nuclear abandonment, our state’s energy plans are now obsolete and our future up in the air. CVSC is fighting on the ground and in the Statehouse for a system of accountability that creates a clean energy future.
Particularly, we need to make sure offshore drilling isn’t part of that energy future.
When the Obama administration included South Carolina in its original offshore drilling lease plans, we hit the ground running. Our coalition organized in-person meetings to galvanize support and we used all communication channels available to educate citizens and coastal communities about the dangers of drilling.
Now, offshore drilling is back on the table in South Carolina. To win this time, we need to go beyond what we did last time. We need to hold more meetings, connect with more voters, and share more online requires resources than ever before.
The best way to achieve that? You guessed it…
Let’s keep the Green Tie energy going.
Please take a quick moment to visit our action center here: http://cvsc.org/action
There, you can browse our current actions to add your name to a petition or send a quick email to your elected officials. Then, you can share the link with a few friends or neighbors.
Note: We are constantly updating our action center, so please bookmark the page and check back often for new ways to keep building on our momentum.
CVSC is also taking action on critical land, water and health issues.
We’re fighting to reauthorize the Conservation Bank, one of the greatest conservation tools in our state’s arsenal.
We’re working with members of Congress to protect ozone standards and other air quality regulations that keep our children from having to breathe dangerous chemicals.
We’re speaking out against the proposed repeal of the Clean Water rule, opposing trade tariffs on renewable energy, and demanding that South Carolinians get the freedom to choose their own energy future.
We’re trying to accomplish a lot… but we can do it if we use the power of this moment to get us there.
We are well-position to claim victory in many of these battles. This is our time to defend not only the special place we call home but, for many of us, a significant part of our personal identity.