[image-1]Hundreds marched across downtown Charleston this weekend in support of science, joining international demonstrations calling for continued research funding and efforts to better understand and protect the planet.

“Science hits everybody in their own way. It’s not limited to fields. Everybody is involved in science, and I believe all these people realize that no matter what they do, science touches them,” said Paige Mangan, a co-organizer for the March for Science Charleston. “Hopefully our local legislators will get an idea of how we feel as a community. We’re in an area that needs a lot of conservation. We have a lot of local organizations that help protect our land.”

Converging on Liberty Square, marchers chanted “Science, not silence” as they made their way across downtown Charleston. Mayor John Tecklenburg addressed the crowd, calling for continued efforts to address the persistent threat of sea-level rise to coastal communities and opposing drilling for resources off the South Carolina coast.

“[Charleston City] Councilman Mike Seekings and the other mayors along the coast of South Carolina joined me last year in asking the Obama administration not to allow offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina,” said Tecklenburg. “Like many other things, that decision may be reversed in the very near future. So we ask you to contact your congressmen and your senators and let them know how you feel about this issue.”

The mayor was joined by Councilman Seekings, who spoke to marchers not only as a city official, but as the son and grandson of engineers, and the husband of a biologist. Seekings echoed Tecklenburg’s sentiments as they related to sea-level rise and the increasing amount of flooding facing the Charleston community.

“The most important issue we have today is that the sea is coming at us. We have a complicated relationship with the sea. We have to address it. We are addressing it,” said Seekings. “The fact that you are here today is so heartening for us who want to make things happen now. Science, Earth Day, the city of Charleston all fit together.”