Success of South Carolina Seven 2023 far exceeding all expectations

SC7 LEADER and chair of the S.C. Floodwater Commission Dr. Tom Mullikin paddling on the Lynches River, near Odell Venters Landing, Johnsonville, S.C., earlier this week.

WOMEN OF SC7 (L-R) – Biologist Abbey Stevens, S.C. National Heritage Corridor (SCNHC); Dr. Susan Johnson, MUSC; SC7’s Chief Logistics Officer Michelle McCollum, pres. of the SCNHC; and Sonja Milisic, former special assistant to the S.C. Lieutenant Governor.

MILITARY VETERANS WITH SC7 – Pictured are veterans of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps on the SC7 trail earlier this month.

With nine days remaining, the SC7 Expedition is setting a measurable record far beyond previous years’ indeterminate numbers

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA, July 21, 2023/ — SC7 officials say this year’s trek from the mountains of South Carolina to the sea (both Myrtle Beach and the Lowcountry) has far exceeded all expectations in terms of physical participation, attending media coverage, and general readership numbers from SC7-related articles published in newspapers, magazines, on broadcast media (TV and radio) websites as well as social media.

According to SC7’s third-party media monitoring platform working in conjunction with SC7’s in-house media information collection, as of Friday afternoon, 15.5-million households have been reached (print media, television, and radio) since June 28. Those numbers include 723 articles published and approximately 67,000 social media impressions. Additional figures independent of the 15.5M include 38,000 SC7 website visits, and 10.5K digital reads of the SC7 online field guide.

Those numbers are growing as is the number of participants – young and old and of all fitness levels – turning out for SC7 events across the state as the expedition, currently in Charleston, makes it way south along the coast toward historic Beaufort and the storied Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

“The beauty of South Carolina is being shown to the world through SC7 along with the state’s position of global leadership with resiliency,” said Dr. Tom Mullikin, SC7 Expedition leader. “We have honestly been overwhelmed by the response and the ever-increasing level of interest.”

SC7’s Chief Logistics Officer Michelle McCollum agrees.

“During each of segment of the expedition, public participation and support has been enormous,” said McCollum who also serves as president and CEO of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor (National Park Service). “We are clearly striking a chord with South Carolinians and visitors to the Palmetto State as we educate families about the beauty of South Carolina and how to help protect it for future generations.”

The 4th annual month-long SC7 Expedition is a joint venture between the Mullikin-founded Global Eco Adventures and McCollum’s S.C. National Heritage Corridor. Participants – who are primarily hiking, but also whitewater rafting, kayaking, and quite a few SCUBA diving – began their trek in the Upstate, July 1, and have thus far included Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette; S.C. Senator Thomas Alexander, president of the Senate; and a whole host of top business and military leaders including Major General Jeff Jones, the adjutant general of S.C.; Col. (Ret.) Kevin Shwedo, executive director of the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles and the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army; and Mike Callahan, president of Duke Energy South Carolina; to name a few.

Along the way, Mullikin, a renowned global expedition leader and chair of the S.C. Floodwater Commission, together with other naturalists and historians have been showcasing the state’s seven geographic wonders exploring, observing, and teaching along a route closely paralleling several hundred miles of the famed Palmetto Trail from the mountains, through the Midlands, and finally to the sea.

The seven designated wonders of South Carolina include the Chattooga River; Sassafras Mountain; the Jocassee Gorges; the Congaree National Forest; the Edisto River; the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Basin (universally referred to as the ACE Basin); and Bull Island-Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge: “Each one a unique geographical treasure,” according to Mullikin.

Litter sweeps, river-debris clearing missions, other environmental cleanups, and trail repairs are taking place along the way, as well as offshore work on previously installed – and additional installation of – smart-reef systems and system components. SC7 2023’s smart reef efforts are a continuation of SC7’s 2022 work and beyond.

Numerous SC7 events are taking place throughout the weekend in the Charleston area. And on Monday, July 24, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will hike from their respective cities up-and-across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (aka Cooper River Bridge) linking up mid-span over the Cooper River for a photo-op and filming session with the crew of the new SC7 documentary film project.

Duke Energy South Carolina is the presenting sponsor for this year’s SC7 Expedition. Also partnering with SC7 is the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of South Carolina which are the named health and wellness sponsors for 2023. The S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (SCPRT) is SC7’s Ecotourism sponsor.

– For more information about SC7, please visit

Michelle McCollum
+1 864-617-7441
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Dr. Susan L. Johnson, Medical University of South Carolina, speaks from the SC7 trail in North Charleston, S.C., July 20, 2023.

Originally published at

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