South Carolina ETV

Southern Lens is a showcase for independent film from and about the South, culled from film festivals and presented by South Carolina ETV. By turns warm, humorous, compelling, and heart-breaking, each film presents a place and time in Southern culture as seen through the eyes of one filmmaker.

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Southern Lens

Common Ground: The Story of The Ace Basin



An hour-long video history of the preservation of an extraordinary ecosystem between Charleston and Savannah. The core area of 350,000 acres takes its name from the three rivers—the Ashepoo, the Combahee, and the Edisto—that run through the region, nourishing life and shaping the landscape.

Here, more than 206,000 acres of public and private land have been preserved in perpetuity by conservation easements effected by state and federal agencies (National Fish and Wildlife Service, National Estuarine Research Reserve at Bennett’s Point,  The Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, Bear Island Wildlife Management Area), energetic NGO’s (ACE Basin Project History, Ducks Unlimited , Nature Conservancy) and by a vast number of private landowners. These groups have formed a unique partnership dedicated to preserving the land as an intact, healthy ecosystem where the traditions of fishing, hunting, farming, and forestry are maintained. The documentary recounts the region’s history of large plantations, a source of great wealth; the demise of the plantation system following the Civil War; and the threats to the land brought about by coastal sprawl after World War II. How these threats were met lies at the core of the story, and is told through interviews with the leaders of the ACE Basin Project and glorious scenes of natural beauty.

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