SC7 hosts 2024 Expedition press event at S.C. State House

April 18, 2024

State leaders to discuss statewide litter clean-up on Earth Day among other SC7 sub-events

The SOUTH CAROLINA SEVEN (SC7) Expedition will host a media kickoff event Monday, April 22 (Earth Day) at the South Carolina State House in Columbia. There, SC7 officials and special VIP guests will discuss this year’s expedition itinerary, the forthcoming 2024 Resiliency Conference at Wild Dunes Resort, and other SC7 sub-events and particulars.

Joining Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Mullikin, PhD, SC7’s expedition leader; and Michelle McCollum, SC7’s chief logistics officer, will be Senator Thomas Alexander, president of the S.C. Senate, and Ben Duncan, chief resilience officer with the S.C. Office of Resilience.

“The key focus for this year’s SC7 is environmental education,” says McCollum, who also serves as publisher of The Southern Edge magazine and president of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor (National Park Service). “We’re involving students K through 12 on April 22, Earth Day through our statewide litter cleanup effort, and we’re visiting high schools throughout the month, holding university forums, and concluding the SC7 Expedition with our first-annual Resiliency Conference.”

On Earth Day, SC7 is partnering with Palmetto Pride, S.C.’s anti-litter organization; and the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) in its launching of the largest statewide litter pickup involving K-12 schools in S.C. Approximately 140 schools from across the state will collect trash. SCDOT has distributed 5,000 trash bags total divided among the participating schools. The SC7 statewide litter pickup will serve as the commencement event for the 2024 SC7 Expedition.

Counties and individual schools collecting the most trash (collected and bagged litter to be weighed by SCDOT) will be recognized latter in summer with SC7’s Environmental Stewardship award.

“The involvement of schools statewide is the key piece of what we are doing for this year’s SC7 Expedition,” says Dr. Mullikin, founder of Global Eco Adventures and chairman of the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission. “Students are the primary reason we’ve moved the expedition to the Spring instead of Summer. Participation in SC7 has been tremendous over the past few years. Now by directly involving K-12 and university students nearing the end of their school year, we are going to increase SC7 participation and the accompanying enthusiasm and excitement among children, young adults, and their families for the great outdoors right here in the Palmetto State.”

A joint venture between 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. The seven designated wonders of the Palmetto State include Sassafras Mountain; the Jocassee Gorges; the Chattooga River; 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.

The SC7 kickoff media event will be held Monday, April 22 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., between the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s offices (first floor) at the historic S.C. State House, 1101 Gervais St. in Columbia. The SC7 Expedition will conclude with 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.”

For more information or for media access to all portions of the expedition, please contact Michelle McCollum at 864-617-7441 ([email protected]) and Rachel Simpkins at 864-791-0757 ([email protected]).

– Pictured is SC7 leader Dr. Tom Mullikin (white beard and blue ballcap) with SC7 documentary film crew and others off the South Carolina coast, July 2023.