LifeTides Institute is a dedicated leader in lifelong learning and service situated in a unique and natural Lowcountry environment of the marshes along the Broad River—an extensive tidal channel that feeds directly into Port Royal Sound. Surrounded by over 750 acres of salt marshes, tidal creeks and the headwaters of the Broad River, the not-for-profit institute serves as an outdoor laboratory featuring unlimited access to the ecological, geological, and historical sites of the region. The Palm Key area is known for its peaceful setting and environment.
Founded in 2002 , the LifeTides Institute was established (originally named the Palm Key Institute) to provide lifelong learning opportunities for adults and children. LifeTides has collaborated with area counties, their school systems, the Boys and Girls Clubs; has organized festivals, arts and theater events and has educated explorers, weekend visitors, local community and school children and also veterans about environmental appreciation of the Lowcountry and its conservation and stewardship. The LifeTides Institute has created and implemented programs for the (historical) Elderhostel program, which today is known as the "Road Scholar" program, and continues to involve educational and exploration opportunities for adventure-oriented enthusiasts.
The LifeTides Institute serves the environmental, ecological, cultural, historical and other charitable and service needs and interests of the Low Country Region of South Carolina.
Our vision is to become a recognized regional leader in the efforts to preserve the unique and natural setting of the South Carolina Lowcountry, striving to set the highest standards for stewardship and protection though education of a broad segment of society and to support exploration and learning of this special environment.
Our mission is to provide educational programs ranging from young to old, to support the well-being of our programs’ members, and their families, to promote the environmental wonders of this region and learn about its challenges and cultural traditions. LifeTides uses its proceeds to support education and is working to acquire habitat to set aside for wildlife, ecosystem-based conservation, and to support local communities and causes.
LifeTides has provided support to local community foodbanks, has provided dedicated clean-up events in selected waterways of the region through its Encore program (returning veteran Road Scholar participants). In 2014 it hosted a dedicated clean up in the town of Yemassee, SC. And LifeTides has developed programs to support veterans who suffer from Post-traumatic disorder, and brain injury and family reconnection following tours of duty.
LifeTides Institute is a nonprofit organization registered in the state of South Carolina, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity. It is governed by a board of Trustees having a broad range of interest in business, education, science and the arts.
The board members are:
Dr. John T. Herron, Board Chair - Scientist (retired), National Institute of Standards and Technology
Janis Schatz, Vice Chair - Owner Innovative Renovations, Daytona Beach, FL
Stephen Carter, AICP Founder and Global Strategic Development Officer
Beverly Bishop, Business Owner
Ronald Prast, OEM Account Manager, Greater Chicago Area
Gregg Jucha, Railroad Industry (retired)
Wally Bunker, Retired Baltimore Orioles
Andy Hooten, Owner and Principal of AJH, Environmental Services, Washington, DC
The planning and day-to-day operations of the Institute are managed by John Herron and Janis Schatz. Janis is responsible for initiating and managing LTI’s programs. LTI has no salaried staff; all service providers, including the managers, are compensated on a per-program basis.