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Charleston Area Preservation and Conservation Partners Conduct Cutting Edge Aerial Survey

General, Press, Press Releases



CHARLESTON, SC MARCH 22, 2022: Charleston Area preservation and conservation partners have joined forces to conduct a high-definition light detecting and ranging survey (LiDAR) across the entire 72.8 square miles that make up the Ashley River Historic District. Once complete, the LiDAR survey will provide a detailed photogrammetric and topographic map with high-definition 3D imagery at a 2-centimeter accuracy. Such information will ultimately improve the understanding of the cultural and natural resources located within the district.

Regional partners include Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, The Coastal Conservation League, Dorchester Trust, Historic Charleston Foundation, Lowcountry Land Trust, Magnolia Plantation Foundation, Middleton Place Foundation, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Preservation Society of Charleston.

The survey conducted across the district’s 23,000 acres will help identify undiscovered historic sites and unique natural features. With a heightened understanding of topography and particularly hydrology, better informed decisions can be made ahead of road construction, zoning, and development.

“Our partners are deeply committed to active research and the long-term preservation of the Ashley River Historic District. Not only does this area contain some of the most significant historical sites from American History, but the surviving natural landscape is unique among South Carolina and the wider nation,” says Carter C. Hudgins, President and CEO of Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

About Drayton Hall Preservation Trust
Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is a 501c3 non-profit organization which operates Drayton Hall, a National Trust for Historic Preservation site in the Ashley River Historic District of Charleston, South Carolina. The first fully executed Palladian edifice in North America, Drayton Hall was established by John Drayton in 1738. In addition to the main house Drayton Hall is an active archaeological site that includes a postbellum caretaker’s house, visitor center with orientation hall and exhibit galleries, and a vast landscape complete with ornamental features, rice fields, and an African American Cemetery. For more information about Drayton Hall, visit

About the Ashley River Historic District
The Ashley River Historic District consists of more than 23,000 acres on the National Register of Historic Places, representing more than 300 years of cultural and ecological significance, including inland and tidal rice cultivation, the American Revolution, the Civil War, Post-Reconstruction Era phosphate mining, and the history of African Americans from slavery to freedom.

About The Coastal Conservation League
Since 1989, the Coastal Conservation League has worked to protect the health of the natural resources of the South Carolina coastal plain and ensure a high quality of life for all of the people who live in and love this special place. The Coastal Conservation League is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Learn more and get involved at

About Historic Charleston Foundation
Established in 1947, Historic Charleston Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization advancing the mission of historic preservation through two Historic House Museums, education, and advocacy. From establishing a revolving fund that became a national model to facilitating conversations to preserve the historic landscape of Charleston, for 75 years the Foundation has, and will continue, to strengthen its focus on resilience, sustainability, and affordability that reflects our community’s values. For more information, visit

About Lowcountry Land Trust
Founded in 1986, the Lowcountry Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to protect land and water forever, nurture relationships between people and place, and connect community to conservation. Lowcountry Land Trust has protected over 150,000 acres across 14 counties in South Carolina. More information about Lowcountry Land Trust is available at

About The Magnolia Plantation Foundation
The Magnolia Plantation Foundation was created by J. Drayton Hastie, Sr, and Fernanda deMohrenschildt Hastie. The foundation’s mission is to fund community based not-for-profit organizations, specifically those that support wildlife conservation, the environment, and the preservation of the Ashley River historic corridor.

About Middleton Place Foundation
Middleton Place National Historic Landmark is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America and an enduring, vibrant, and essential part of the Charleston and American experience. Middleton Place is owned and operated by the Middleton Place Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational trust established in 1974. Middleton Place Foundation connects people with the past, inspiring a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other through our shared American history.

About The National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. Visit

About the Preservation Society of Charleston
Founded in 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) is the oldest grassroots preservation organization in the country. The PSC is more resilient than ever as it enters its second century of serving as a strong advocacy leader for preserving Charleston’s distinctive character, quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods. For more information on the Preservation Society of Charleston, please visit
Press Contact:
Patty Sailer, Drayton Hall, Public Relations

Download a copy of the PR: ARHD LIDAR PR.