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On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wing and a Prayer
October 2014
Conservationist Dana Beach may be best known as the Lowcountry’s chief environmental watchdog, but in a recent book, Deveaux (USC Press/Coastal Conservation League, May 2014), his passion for bird-watching (and talent for photography) comes into focus. Turning his lens on a tiny but teeming seabird sanctuary in the ACE Basin, Beach captures Deveaux Bank’s avian population in all its winged marvel

Situated near the mouth of the North Edisto River and the northern boundary of the ACE Basin, Deveaux Bank is a mere spit of shifty sandbar, but it is also a landing strip and rookery launching pad for an astounding, and photogenic, bevy of seabirds. Dana Beach has visited this wisp of sand and sea oats for the last 25 years, observing the chaos and serenity of this place, and the quirkiness and grace of its fine-feathered inhabitants. These images (along with 100 or so others in the book) chronicle the characters and drama on the 215-acre sanctuary and help Beach tell the story of this “place of abundance and diversity and beauty…where we can gain an understanding of what we stand to lose, and from that, derive the energy and commitment to protect it.”