Kiawah Island recently received a Municipal Achievement Award for its wildlife website.
Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 71st annual meeting. The town won in the communications category. Thirty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
For Kiawah Island, the beach and wildlife are two of the biggest attractions for visitors and residents. The town prints and distributes 12 brochures, posts general information about wildlife on its website, gives wildlife and environment presentations and provides information in its monthly newsletter.
In an effort to educate residents and guests about some of the dangers posed by wildlife on the island, the town created a standalone website focusing on the island's environment and wildlife.
The site is updated several times a week to provide information on research projects and information about wildlife species, regulations, viewing locations and more.
The town's environmental committee, made up of residents and representatives from community groups, discussed and recommended the website idea. The town used money from its general fund to pay for the site, which staff developed. The cost was less than $300.
The website averages about 4,500 hits per month.
The site's most popular feature is the bobcat GPS tracking pages where visitors can access the latest collection data for each bobcat captured and fitted with a GPS tracking collar. Using an interactive map, visitors can find out the day and time that a specific bobcat may have been in their neighborhood.
Visit the website at www.wildlifeatkiawah.com.