Environmental Outreach

St. James Cares

 St. James CARES, formerly know as St. James P.R.I.D.E., is a civic organization started back in 1997 when several St. James residents responded to a call for help with a statewide program called N.C. Litter Sweep. Litter sweep means picking-up unsightly roadside litter. We are still active in that annual springtime cleanup event. Those early volunteers worked alongside community leaders and volunteers from Southport and Oak Island. Most everyone agrees that keeping your home area clean is important, especially since we live in a tourist area. Clean communities also enjoy higher property values.  

 The organization became officially known as St. James P.R.I.D.E. when Steve Cherry was completing a registration form to join the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway Program. In 2019, the name was changed to St. James CARES - Community Action for Recycling and Environmental Services.

 St. James CARES. continues its strong growth of volunteer members and earth-friendly community projects such as… 

  • Clean the Highway (Adopt-A-Highway) . . .we do this 4-5 times per year.

  • Clean the Beach (St. James Beach Club on Oak Island) . . .2-3 times each year.

  • Projects to assist St. James groups with recycling and environmental efforts.

St. James CARES welcomes feedback on existing programs since we’re always seeking ways to be more efficient and new projects for consideration.

 Need more information? Have something to share?  Please contact . . .

Jim and Claire Lavin, stjcares@gmail.com; 910-454-8599

Oyster Bed Renewal

In its Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) Core Plan Brunswick County committed to “preserve and enhance natural resources; protect the water quality of its streams; protect wetlands and shorelines.” Our St James “living Shoreline” epitomizes this goal!

The St. James “Living Shoreline” project at Waterway Park is a multi-generational Citizen Scientist Community Conservation program in conjunction with the UNCW’s Center for Marine Science (Benthic Ecology Lab). The program started in 2004 funded each year by the Town of St. James. The Living Shoreline project has been highly successful using bagged oyster shells and marsh grasses to prevent erosion, reduce boat wake damage, and restore habitat for marine life while enhancing oyster habitat.

Some 540’ of shoreline restoration and stabilization has been completed at Waterway Park with an additional 2,360’ planned. The program is designed to conserve and restore the natural habitat for water birds and marine life including oysters, blue crabs, shrimp, and fish while stabilizing the shoreline.

St James Waterway Park is designated a UNCW Research Sanctuary!

Each July (lunch provided), our Volunteer Multigenerational Citizen Scientists, along with UNCW students and high school students from across the USA attending their Ocean-17 camp, join other youth from Scouts and Church Programs to build bagged oyster shell reefs, plant marsh grasses, and clean trash from the waterway area. Lake Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home, as well as South Brunswick High School teachers and students, also participate. Graduate Student Frank Marshall uses a drone to measure soil erosion as part of his thesis giving very positive results. In October, we have our OysterFest Dinner with UNCW speakers and students with project demonstrations.   

Oyster Shell Recycling – Drop them off in a box or plastic bag on the west side of Taylor Ryan's home at 2608 Mariners Way SE, or call him (numbers below) at  and he will pick them up. The shells will be dried over 6-8-weeks, bagged and used in our “Living Shoreline."

For more information and to volunteer, please contact J. Taylor Ryan, Project Leader and Founder, at jtaylorryan@msn.com  or 910.253.8818 OR 201.924.5199.