SC7 2024 is fully underway

April 24, 2024

Pictured are GEA IRONMEN moments after Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles Bolden, USMC, received the Ironman award at GEA’s Eco Ball, Monday evening in Columbia. Bolden, an astronaut (space shuttle commander) and former NASA director, also received GEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Annual statewide expedition launched this week

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

The SOUTH CAROLINA SEVEN (SC7) Expedition is fully underway having held several Earth Day kickoff events earlier this week. Beginning with a Monday press conference led by Senator Thomas Alexander, president of the S.C. Senate, Dr. Tom Mullikin, SC7 leader, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie, and Ben Duncan, S.C.’s chief Resiliency officer; and an also-Monday statewide litter cleanup followed by Global Eco Adventure’s annual Eco Ball; SC7 has now shifted into first phase with a Tuesday airing of the SC7 documentary film at the Walhalla Performing Arts Center (Walhalla, S.C.) and Wednesday’s whitewater rafting excursion on the famed Chattooga River and afternoon trail hike in Oconee County.

“There’s no greater introduction to SC7 than rafting the Chattooga, South Carolina’s first great natural wonder among the designated seven,” says Mullikin, a renowned global expedition leader and chair of the S.C. Floodwater Commission. “This and our other exploratory events and destinations leading to Sassafras Mountain, which is the geographical summit of the Palmetto State on Friday and the Jocassee Gorges by Sunday offer something for all.”

A joint venture between the Mullikin founded Global Eco Adventures and the S.C. National Heritage Corridor, the SC7 Expedition is a monthlong statewide expedition from the mountains to the sea involving a growing number of volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts, young and not-so-young – hiking, climbing, kayaking, rafting, and SCUBA diving – across South Carolina as they explore the Palmetto State’s seven named wonders and various on-trail and off-trail excursions in between.

In addition to the Chattooga, Sassafras Mountain, and Jocassee Gorges, the other four of the seven designated wonders of the Palmetto State include the Congaree National Forest; the Edisto River; the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Basin – universally referred to as the ACE Basin; and Bull Island-Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

“There are many ways for everyone to be involved this year,” says Michelle McCollum, pres. of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor and SC7’s chief logistics officer. “Though 85 percent of our activities on each day between now and our May 22 Resiliency Conference in Charleston are open to the public, this year our Saturday excursions are specifically designed to encourage maximum public participation. On Saturdays, participants will find ease-of and ample parking, the trails are out-and-back to the parking lots, and trail difficulty is easy – thus making it great for small children, senior adults, and pets.”

SC7 officials are also encouraging parents to access SC7’s Kids Adventure Guide from the website [].

McCollum adds, “The SC7 website offers information and access to great, interactive activities and excursions for kids and families.”

Tickets to and sponsorship opportunities are also still available for the SC7 Resiliency Conference, a three-day experience featuring leaders from across the state and nation to discuss in-depth conversations on critical issues related to the SC7 pillars of “Environmental Sustainability & Corporate resiliency,” “Conservation,” and “Health & Wellness.”


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