SC’s Gullah-Geechee Community: Hear Us On Climate Change

This article discusses the South Carolina Gullah-Geechee Community, and the impact of climate change on their way of life.

Ed Atkins Jr., 68, is proud of his family tradition. He’s a third-generation fisherman and owner of Atkins Live Baits and Local Oysters, which was started by his mother and father. But Atkins is worried that the effect of climate change on the waters are hurting not only his business, but also the traditions of his Gullah-Geechee community.

“I’m out there every day, and mostly every night,” says Atkins, who has been catching fat shrimp, oysters and mullet since he was a child. But now the warmer waters are sharply affecting the fishing that has been not only a tradition, but central to the existence of the African American community descended from enslaved West Africans that has lived on the coast in the Lowcountry for four centuries.

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