CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some are putting a renewed focus on improving and protecting South Carolina’s ecosystems and wildlife. On Monday, advocates and leaders planted marsh grass on Drum Island as part of the South Carolina Ports Authority’s effort to rehab the island.

Also participating in the effort was SC-7, an organization that hikes across the state each July.

The protected area encompasses 22 acres of marshland, which is a stopping point following the 250-mile hike.

“This is day 24, we started up in the mountains and make it down here,” says SC-7’s Tom Mullikin. “It’s just for me trying to encourage others to get involved.”

Mullikin said that the effort could be monumental for the Lowcountry environment.

“We will have one of the largest human reductions in greenhouse gasses in the world of any governmental party all the while building our economic base,” says Mullikin.

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette joined the effort, she says the mission of SC-7 to protect the state’s seven wonders goes beyond nature preservation. Evette says the effort helps to boost tourism and the state’s economy.

“Really a big driver in creating this salt marsh and you can see all of this grass that was planted and it was amazing to stand out here and see the wildlife that has come back,” says Evette.

Mullikin agrees that the project will benefit South Carolina in multiple areas.

“I think continuing to find those areas where we could protect the environment and also enhance our economy,” says Mullikin.

SC-7 and the rest of the group plans to spend Saturday building artificial reefs along the South Carolina coast with builds in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and near Hilton Head Island.