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ACE Basin NERR - Coastal Exploration Series

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the ACE Basin NERR offer a series of public programs to inspire stewardship and appreciation of our state’s coastal resources.

Please email CES@dnr.sc.gov or call 843-953-0663 with any questions regarding the Coastal Exploration Series.

All events are free unless overwise noted.

Registration is required for all events via the website and opens 30 days in advance.

Applying for an event does not guarantee your registration! Due to the nature of our offerings, space is limited and we are continually striving to maintain a fair system that also encourages first time participants.

You will be notified at least one week before the event of your registration status, selected participants will receive directions and further event details. We appreciate your interest and will continue to offer free, interactive events as often as possible.

CES events are often held outdoors and activities and conditions could include, but are not limited to, extreme heat or cold, exposure to insects, walking or standing for long periods of time on unstable surfaces, climbing onto or out of boats, docks, and trailers, etc.

Please contact us by email at CES@dnr.sc.gov prior to registration if you have a disability that you feel might prevent your participation in an event.


Fall 2018 Coastal Exploration Series

Register for this Event!

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Hunting Island
Speaker: Marie Nichols
Limited to 15 participants

We will begin in the Hunting Island State Park Nature Center where participants will learn sketching techniques and have the opportunity to practice drawing the live animals and displays in the center. After a lunch break participants can join us in the park near the Lighthouse for more sketching opportunities on the beach.*

Our instructor, Marie Nichols, grew up in Mt. Pleasant, SC and roaming the shoreline on Sullivan's Island fostered her love of being outdoors. Marie taught both Visual Arts and Costume Design at Charleston County School of the Arts for 18 years. Now retired, she occasionally teaches art workshops for 3 schools and has been helping with SCDNR workshops for 8 years.

Workshop is free and sketching materials are provided. *$5/person to enter park

Participants will be responsible for providing their own lunch.

Register for this Event!

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Ferry landing, Georgetown, SC
Speaker: Jamie Dozier/Jim Lee, SCDNR
Limited to 13 participants

The Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center was utilized for research and is primarily managed as a wildlife preserve. Participants will have a firsthand experience of this property, learning about the abundant plant and wildlife that inhabit it and why these areas are so important to protect. We will take a bus tour of the property will several stops to get out and stretch our legs.

Participants will be responsible for providing their own lunch.

Register for this Event!

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: USC Beaufort Campus
Speaker: Erica Connery
Limited to 15 participants

Call them King Tides, Super Tides, or Nuisance Flooding, the phenomena of higher than normal high tides can cover roads, reach into communities, inundate coastal habitats, and produce marine debris. Come explore the science of king tides, how they affect our built landscape, and how to document occurrences in your community through the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) MyCoast app.

We will begin indoors at the Old Campus of the USC Beaufort Campus for an introduction to the issues and challenges of king tides and explore the SCDHEC app, followed by a driving tour in SCDNR vans to visit flood prone areas during the day’s predicted King Tide. Participants will document what we find using the SCDHEC King Tide app.

Participants should download the SCDHEC MyCoast app on their smartphone or tablet prior to the event, which can be found here: https://mycoast.org/sc Instructions on how to use the app will be provided at the event.

Participants should bring a water bottle. This event will require participants to enter and exit a 10 passenger van, or provide their own transportation to the nearby sites.

Register for this Event!

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Beaufort-Jasper Water Sewer Authority
Speaker: Lou Brown
Limited to 20 participants

Join us for a tour of the Beaufort-Jasper Water Authority facility. The group will take a tour of the complex to learn more about the processes involved with providing a clean water source. We will learn about both the source of fresh water for drinking and where this water will go after utilized by humans. Emphasis will be placed on how humans impact clean water sources and what can be done to help protect these resources.

Register for this Event!

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Botany Bay WMA
Speaker: Allison Bowden
Limited to 15 participants

Join nature photographer Allison Bowden at SCDNR's Botany Bay planation for an introduction to nature photography. After a short talk in the field office we will walk to the beach at low tide to practice some basic photography skills. Views will include tidal creeks in the salt marsh, pathways through hammock islands and the beautiful boneyard beach, as well as any wildlife we may see along the way.

Our instructor Allison's love of nature photography began when she worked on Pritchard's Island, SC as a sea turtle biologist after college. She says the key to being a nature photographer is to find inspiration from a subject, landscape or moment. Allison now teaches high school biology at Ashley Hall in Charleston, SC and works to take her students outdoors as much as possible to find their own inspiration in nature.

Participants should dress for the weather and be prepared for the 1.5 mile walk on uneven terrain to the beach and back. Water is recommended.

Participants will be responsible for providing their own lunch. Workshop ends at 12:00 p.m. but participants are welcome to stay on the property until sunset.

Participants should bring their camera or phone of choice.

Register for this Event!

Time: 10:00 a.m. - early afternoon
Location: Harbor Island, SC
Speaker: Nick Wallover
Limited to 20 participants

Join SCDNR staff for a winter shorebird outing on Harbor Island. Following a classroom discussion on local species and the importance of habitat for wintering shorebirds, the group will take a two mile beach walk on sandbar adjacent to Harbor Island to view wintering shorebirds.

This event includes a 2 mile hike across sandy beach encountering "weather of the day." Access to beach is across long boardwalk over dunes.

We suggest you bring binoculars (spotting scope if you have one) and water. Dress appropriately for weather and beach walk. Harbor Island was recently designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by The Audubon Society.


The ACE Basin NERR is always looking for new ideas for programs. Please contact us at CES@dnr.sc.gov with suggestions.

Here are some of our past events:

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources - Phone Numbers | Accessibility | FOIA
Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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