The education group with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently held an informative teacher workshop at the Marine Resources Division at Fort Johnson on James Island in Charleston, as part of their FABulous (Fishing and Barrier Island) Series. The program, which is funded by the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, provides a hands-on educational experience for students and groups that may not have an opportunity to learn about the wealth of South Carolina's natural resources and the importance of our fragile marine ecosystem.
Teachers from Colleton and Charleston Counties attended the workshop November 5th, which previewed the program currently offered to local schools and groups. Activities conducted during the workshop included a Charleston harbor trawl on board the Education Vessel (E/V) Discovery which identified common estuarine animals and plants familiar in our area; boating safety and survival skill fundamentals; ethical angling and cast net instruction demonstrated on Capers Island; and a discussion on the sensitive barrier island ecosystem.
For questions and further information on the FABulous Series, please contact Kattie McMillan at (843) 953-0762 or McMillanK@dnr.sc.gov.
Kattie McMillan, the program coordinator, commented that, "The idea behind this workshop was to provide background information for teachers, so that they will be instrumental in recruiting interest among other teachers, administrators and students within their schools." Getting the word out to groups that would benefit from the program has been an essential component behind their participation and involvement in the Series.
The Series offers full-day excursions as well as overnight camping trip opportunities, and constructs the curriculum around each individual group to provide the most beneficial learning experience for the students. The FABulous Series has already hosted groups such as Tara Hall Home for Boys, the Windwood Farms Home for Children, and the Charleston County Juvenile Drug Court Program. The cost of the trip is free for interested groups with requirements including a pre-trip seminar to discuss program details and regulations, teacher and/or guardian supervision, and an enthusiasm for learning the conservation messages inherent of our marine resources.
Funding for the program is made possible by the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, which has supported the educational initiatives of the Marine Resources Division of SCDNR since 1984.
- Written by Anna E. Martin-