Community Service

MESSA encourages its members to participate in service activites as a way to be involved in our program and in the communities of our school, city, county, and state. We pick up trash, watch out for the oysters, participate in Earth Day activities, and are frequently asked to help out with local events that are sustainably oriented.

Read more below about some of our activities in the community, or check out the on-campus accomplishments that MESSA members have been involved in at the campus sustainability site

Student Garden at Stono Preserve

The Sustainable Agriculture initiative is sponsored by the Masters in Environmental and Sustainability Studies program and aims to provide and support experiential education, research, and food production using sustainable lowcountry garden practices. Each semester, MESSA dedicates at least one workday to helping garden staff with planting, harvesting, maintaining and building garden beds, and any other needed tasks. Visit the Student Garden website to learn more.


MESSA members have diligently picked up all kinds of trash along a stretch of Highway 61 from where it leaves Highway 17 after crossing the Ashley River, to its intersection with Wesley Drive. We collect trash twice a semester. In early November, MESSA members collected over 100 lbs of litter in one hour!

Beach Sweepriver sweep 2019

Beach Sweep is a national campaign to clean up waterfront areas. Each year, a large group of MESSA students and friends make short work of removing trash from a local stretch of beach in the Charleston area. Check out SC SeaGrant's webpage to learn more.

Some of our students at the 2019 Beach Sweep at Waterfront Park.


The South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement Project (SCORE) is an ongoing activity for many MESSA members. MESSA is responsible for weekly water quality monitoring at Bowen's Island. MESSA's participation has been recognized by the Office of the President of the United States. A representative of President Bush presented MESSA with an award on November 19th, 2004.

Sustainable Charleston

MESSA members worked to initiate the Sustainable Charleston program, a partnership with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Developers Council, and The Sustainability Institute to recognize and promote businesses or organizations that successfully balance community development, growth management and environmental stewardship. Follow the link below to learn more about who's dedicated to the economic, environmental and social success of business, and the Sustainable Charleston Awards.