The ACE Basin Task Force is composed of multiple public and private entities that share a common interest in preserving the habitat and outdoor heritage of the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto river basins. Springing from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, the original ACE Basin Task Force partners were Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, and local private landowners. These partners came together in 1989 to prevent the development of the ACE Basin. Since that time, the task force has more than doubled in size.
This public-private partnership has been a model for subsequent conservation efforts elsewhere in South Carolina and across the country. DU's first conservation easement was placed on Mary's Island as part of the ACE Basin protection effort. To date, more than 200,000 acres (two-thirds of which are privately owned) have been protected in the 350,000-acre ACE Basin, and the effort has grown to protect more than 1 million acres throughout the Lowcountry.
Ducks Unlimited was featured prominently at a 25th anniversary event for the ACE Basin Task Force this past November at Nemours Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina. DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt addressed the crowd of more than 400 on behalf of the organization and thanked the numerous participating private landowners for their commitment to conservation.