Young students aboard the E/V Discovery for an educational boat cruise

Adult Education

A group on the beach crowded around a class instructor A group on the beach crowded around a class instructor

Coastal Exploration Series

Through the Coastal Exploration Series, we offer free public programs each spring and fall to inspire stewardship and appreciation of our coastal resources. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

  • Registration is required and will open 30 days prior to event.
  • Registration is first come, first served, but there is a wait list if spaces become available.
  • These events are designed for adults. Find K-12 information here.
  • These events are often held outdoors. 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 and climbing onto or out of boats, docks and trailers.
  • Weather decisions will be made the day before each event and participants will be notified ASAP.
Due to the nature of our offerings, space is limited and we continually strive to maintain a fair system that also encourages first-time participants. We appreciate your interest and will continue to offer free, interactive events as often as possible.

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

Sign Up for Series Updates Here

Spring/Summer 2020 Schedule

Composting for Beginners

Date: February 22, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Marine Resources Center

Are you interested in composting but aren't sure how to get started? We'll "break it down" for you. This introductory program will cover the basics of composting and offer suggestions on the best way to fit it into your life. Whether its a backyard compost bin or using community pick-up options, easy composting is within reach. This event will be held indoors.

Register for Composting

Pair of hands holding compost materials


Reptiles at Santee Coastal Reserve

Date: March 11, 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Santee Coastal Reserve

Join SCDNR herpetologists as we explore the reptiles found on the reserve and the research projects currently underway to understand and protect them. We'll go on a tour of the property in search of reptiles and learn more about each species and the habitats where they are found here in South Carolina!

We suggest bringing binoculars and a reusable water bottle. Dress to spend the day outdoors and bring any food you may need for the day, as the event will continue through lunch.

Raindate: April 12, 2020

Weather decisions will be made a day in advance and participants will be notified ASAP.

Register for Reptiles
Close-up of a young alligator in the marsh

South Fenwick Island Tour

Date: March 27, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Bennetts Point, South Carolina

South Fenwick is located several miles from the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the east coast. Bounded on one side by the South Edisto River and on the other side by the Ashepoo River, the 500-acre island (of which SCDNR manages 400 acres) is connected by a maze of salt marsh to Otter Island.

We will leave from McKenzie Field Station in Bennetts Point and enjoy a boat ride down the Ashepoo River to reach our destination. Once on the island we’ll tour the property in an open-air wagon and learn about its rich history and diverse ecosystems along the way.

Reusable water bottle, snacks/lunch and bug spray/sunscreen recommended.

Register for the Tour
Aerial view of South Fenwick Island and the Ashepoo River

Prescribed Burning at Webb Center

Date: April 8, 2020
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Webb Wildlife Center

Prescribing burning is a land management practice used at many wildlife management areas, including the James W. Webb WMA. Participants will learn about the property and the fundamentals of how prescribed burning works. After a classroom portion and provided lunch we’ll tour the property and see an active burn (weather permitting).

Register for Prescribed Burning
A group of people walk along a trail as a small controlled fire burns alongside them

Horseshoe Crabs on Otter Island

Date: April 24, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Edisto Beach State Park Environmental Learning Center

Join SCDNR staff for a spawning survey and tagging of the fascinating horseshoe crab! This is an opportunity to learn about the critical role horseshoe crabs play in both wildlife populations and human health. We will meet at the Edisto Environmental Learning Center before heading to Otter Island by boat. Be prepared to wade in knee-deep water and be exposed to hot and buggy conditions. Be prepared to be on the beach for several hours.

Bring lunch and a reusable water bottle. Closed-toe shoes required. Participants must be 10 years or older.

Register for Otter Island
Close-up of a horseshoe crab with a tag on its carapace

Horseshoe Crabs on Harbor Island

Date: May 6, 2020
Time: 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Location: Harbor Island

Join SCDNR staff in a spawning survey and tagging of the fascinating horseshoe crab! We'll learn about the critical role horseshoe crabs play in both wildlife populations and human health. The event will start with a classroom session and then head to the beach (approximate one mile walk each way). Be prepared to wade in knee-deep water in the dark on our return beach walk.

Closed-toe shoes required. Bring a flashlight, bug spray and a jacket (conditions will be cooler at night on the beach). Once you join the group on the beach, you must stay until the conclusion of the program and return with group.

Register for Harbor Island

A pair of horseshoe crabs crawl along the sand back into the surf

Night Sounds in the ACE Basin

Date: May 12, 2020
Time: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Green Pond, SC

Led by Tony Mills, a herpetologist with The Lowcountry Institute, this event will begin with a presentation highlighting a few animals that depend and thrive upon the isolated wetlands at Donnelley WMA. Participants will venture out into the evening in a wagon-style vehicle, to experience the sounds of the night. As dusk settles in, the forest will come alive showcasing an array of lightning bugs, frog sounds and more. Habitats include rice impoundments, longleaf pine forest and tidal marsh.

Dress for the weather, as it may be cool on wagon in evening. Bring flashlights, snacks and a reusable water bottle.

Register for Night Sounds

A leopard frog basks in a swamp

Otter Island Beach Cleanup

Date: May 27, 2020
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Bennetts Point, SC

Join SCDNR staff for a beach cleanup of beautiful Otter Island. We’ll leave from McKenzie Field Station in Bennetts Point and enjoy a boat ride down the Ashepoo River to reach our destination.

Otter Island is a 2,000-acre barrier island in the heart of the ACE Basin. Participants will collect litter and debris that has washed up along the beach front. We'll kick off the start of sea turtle nesting season by cleaning up the beach front. Otter Island is regularly surveyed by SCDNR biologist to record nesting data. We'll talk about the importance of undeveloped islands for coastal wildlife.

Participants should be prepared to walk 2.5 miles on the beach. Must be 10 years or older.

Closed-toed shoes required. Reusable water bottle, snacks/lunch and sunscreen recommended.

Trash bags, gloves and water refills will be provided.

Register for Beach Cleanup

View along the beach of Otter Island

Lowcountry Shrimp: Exploring Our Native Crustaceans

Date: June 11, 2020
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Bennetts Point, SC

Spend the morning with SCDNR staff to learn more about the research that goes into understanding and protecting Lowcountry shrimp. On board the E/V Discovery, we will pull a trawl net in the Ashepoo River and talk about its function for shrimping. As we sort through our catch we'll focus on shrimp and its importance to the seafood industry and ecosystem.

Please bring a reusable waterbottle and dress to spend time outdoors. Participants must be 10 years or older.

Weather decisions will be made the day before the event and participants will be notified ASAP.

Register for Lowcountry Shrimp

Close-up of a hand holding a live white shrimp