#07-232 August 20, 2007
Public event series continues conservation topics this fall
The Public Event Series, consisting of seminars, field and boat outings with diverse topics about South Carolina’s natural resources will continue this fall in the Lowcountry.
The Public Event Series, which was initiated in February 2007, has offered nine educational programs and hosted more than 400 participants statewide. "The pilot round of programs offered with the Public Event Series has certainly met our expectations and has provided momentum to continue offering these types of educational experiences to the public again this fall," said Kim Counts, Series coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Participants in the initial events provided important and positive feedback, as well as ideas for topics that will be incorporated into the fall Series.
With an overall goal to raise awareness of knowledge of our marine resources and the importance of conservation, topics addressed have included historical preservation to more specific research taking place at the DNR’s Marine Resources Division. Each event, whether a seminar, field or boat outing, presents information in an interactive format to encourage understanding and participation from an audience that may not have a strong science background. The Series also aims to increase the public’s understanding of DNR projects and goals that are the heart of the Marine Resources Division.
At a glance, the Series offerings thus far have included:
- The South Carolina Marine Turtle Conservation Program featured a seminar on DNR’s ongoing program as well as a trip to the sea turtle hospital at the S.C. Aquarium.
- A seminar about South Carolina’s Artificial Reefs was featured with DNR program coordinators with underwater video footage of reef projects and productivity.
- Birding in the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin (ACE) was offered at Bear Island Wildlife Management Area with guided birding interpretation.
- DNR biologists presented a lecture on South Carolina’s coastal sharks, detailing identification strategies for anglers as well as life histories of our state’s coastal and estuarine species of sharks.
- Participants hiked into the Dungannon Heritage Preserve, with a featured outing to observe wood stork habitat and nesting areas.
- A history of the ACE Basin boat outing provided historical interpretation of the ecologically significant area as well as included an overview of conventional uses of hammock islands, such as phosphate mining and rice cultivation.
- An additional hammock islands tour was offered in the ACE Basin, with emphasis and interpretation on the plants and animals that use and inhabit the isolated habitats.
- A guided history tour of Fort Johnson, property that now houses the Marine Resources Division of DNR, was offered, which included the Fort’s roles in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
- Participants also ventured to Crab Bank on the DNR educational vessel E/V Discovery to learn about the nesting success that seabird populations are experiencing as a result of recent regulations on three important nesting islands.
Interested participants for the Fall Public Event Series are encouraged to stay tuned for upcoming date and time announcements, registration and contact information regarding the offerings in September and October. For additional information, contact Counts at CountsK@dnr.sc.gov. Please note that reservations are required for all events, and will be taken once the Fall Public Event Series calendar is finalized. At a glance, the upcoming events will include:
- A lecture and discussion on coastal Native Americans will be led by representatives from three tribes of coastal South Carolina. The event will focus on heritage, customs and culture that have and continue to influence the fragile balance between humans and the surrounding landscape.
- A seminar will be featured on South Carolina’s striped bass fishery and population’s life history.
- Barrier Island Beachcombing field experience will take participants out with DNR experts to Folly Beach County Park to identify animals and plants commonly found while beachcombing the coastal islands of South Carolina.
- Series participants will venture to Francis Beidler Forest Sanctuary for an interpretive birding experience into the headwaters of the ACE Basin deep in the Four Holes Swamp area.
- Marine educators with DNR will offer and Animals of the Estuary boat outing in the ACE Basin, which will impart information about the importance of the estuary, overall health of the ocean as well as pull a marine trawl net for species identification.
- A field experience to observe coastal butterflies as well as a demonstration on tagging of Monarchs by DNR biologists will be hosted.
- DNR biologists will provide an in-depth look at research focusing on adult loggerhead male turtles, which also features information about the project’s use of radio transmitting devices that are used for tracking.
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.