Spirit of the Island Award Recipient: Susan Hill Smith


Photo by: Mic Smith Photography LLC

The Spirit of the Island Award is a prestigious award that recognizes an individual or an organization that has made significant contributions to the well-being of the Isle of Palms. The award honors an individual or organization’s remarkable single achievement or community service and volunteerism.

Susan Hill Smith, leader and co-founder of the Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew, was awarded the Spirit of the Island Award during a City Council meeting on October 24, 2023. She was recognized for her dedication to preserving the island's natural beauty through the efforts of the Cleanup Crew.

The Cleanup Crew, founded in 2018, uses volunteer power to keep the coast clean, protect natural ecosystems and public health, document litter data, and help solve the pollution crisis. The crew engages volunteers throughout Isle of Palms and the Lowcountry and holds more than 40 litter clean-ups each year.

During the meeting, Smith emphasized how instrumental her team and various partners have been in making clean-up efforts successful.

"With each piece of litter that we clean up, we are protecting the health of people & the natural world, while keeping IOP beautiful. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in our endeavor to find solutions to the litter & pollution crisis," Smith said. 
 She thanked the following individuals and organizations:
• Cofounder Katrina Naz Limbach
South Carolina Aquarium's conservation team, including Kelly James Thorvalson and Linda Rowe
Islander Rebecca Stephenson, enduring volunteer & member of our welcome team
• Legendary Beach Santa (aka Howard Hogue)
Paula Richnafsky Kennedy & South Carolina Federal Credit Union's Team Blue
• All of our business sponsors through the years, including The Windjammer & Acme Lowcountry Kitchen - both have supported us from the start
• The thousands of volunteers who have pitched in since 2018
• Everyone else who has picked up litter on IOP, including islander Sarah Parker Daniel, who initiated this recognition, and others who clean up on an almost daily basis!
Learn more about the Spirit of the Island Award.