Dewees Island: A Sustainable Paradise

LOCATION: Eight miles from Charleston, South Carolina

WHAT IS IT? A private, oceanfront island retreat dedicated to environmental preservation.

WHAT MAKES IT GREEN? The 1,206-acre island community includes only 150 home sites. Restrictions prevent construction from disturbing more than 7,500 square feet of ground and limit homes to 5,000 square feet. Regulations protect native oak and sweetgrass, natural wetlands and dunes, and a host of native wildlife; 92 percent of the island will remain undisturbed.

WHAT ABOUT THE HOUSES? Regulations ban toxic building materials and encourage the use of durable, energy-efficient materials.

IS IT A DEVELOPMENT? Kind of, but Dewees Island doesn’t have paved roads, stores, restaurants, golf courses, or a movie theater. No cars are allowed on the island; residents travel by foot, bike, or electric golf cart.

WHO LIVES THERE? One hundred fifty families and more than 200 bird species, alligators, bobcats, loggerhead turtles, and an occasional visiting red wolf.