Before English settlers arrived in the Charleston Harbor Watershed, about 1000 Cusabo survived on subsistence farming, hunting, and fishing.  These activities had a minimal impact on the watershed’s tidal creeks, salt marsh, and rivers.  Population growth spurred by founding of Charles Town in 1670 led to increasing human impacts on the natural functions of the areas estuarine habitat.  Rice and cotton cultivation in 1700 and 1800‘s, the Charleston peninsula’s land expansion, and the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric Project in 1939 forever altered natural functions of the Charleston Harbor Watershed’s salt marsh, tidal creeks, and rivers. Learn more about the human impacts and physical changes to our watershed.