Carolina Coastal Discovery Program
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Carolina Coastal Discovery Programs
The Carolina Coastal Discovery Program uses vessel and land based programs to teach students about the value of South Carolina's Natural Resources. Some or our land programs include dissections, fields studies and the use of laboratory equipment.
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Botany Bay
Students from Colleton Conservation Crew spent the day touring Botany Bay Plantation, learning about the history of the ACE Basin and comparing coastal ecosystems.
Camp Wildwood
The Carolina Coastal Discovery Program uses vessel and land based programs to teach students about the value of South Carolina's Natural Resources. Some of our land programs include dissections, fields studies and the use of laboratory equipment.
Horseshoe Crab caught aboard the E/V Discovery
Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs are an important species found in South Carolina's estuaries and their eggs are a vital food source for migratory birds along the coast, such as the Red Knot. Interesting fact: Althouth they have 'crab' as part of their common name, Limulus polyphemus are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than true crabs.
Campers aboard the SCDNR Educational Vessel Discovery during during 4H2O Summer Camp 2012
Photo by: Kim Counts, Clemson Carolina Clear
Students visiting Ft. Johnson excitedly watch as a Northern Puffer fish inflates its body into a round ball shape.
Sunrise in the estuary
Estuaries provide a beautiful backdrop for recreational opportunities like fishing, boating, birding, and hiking. They are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world, providing an important habitat for many marine species.
Students take turns holding a striped burr fish on the E/V Discovery during ACE Appreciation week at the Edisto Environmental Learning Center.
The Longnosed Spider Crab is often found in the coastal waters of South Carolina. Another common name for this interesting invertebrate is 'decorator crab' after the unique behavior of attaching things found in its environment to its body to camouflage and defend itself.
Captain Tom releases a guitarfish into a temporary holding tank for observation. Guitarfish have a body shape between that of a skate and a shark - its closest relatives - and it can be found in coastal waters from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Atlantic Guitarfish (Rhinobatos lentiginosus) bury themsleves in the mud and sand for protection and lack a spine on their tail. Interesting fact: Atlantic Guitarfish give birth to live young and can have as many as six pups in one litter.

Discovering our Coastal Treasures

E/V Discovery Catamaran PictureThe CCD Program utilizes a 45’ catamaran, the Educational Vessel (E/V) Discovery, and a variety of land based programs to reach hundreds of teachers and students from a variety of backgrounds and locations.

SCDNR staff provided hands-on educational activities to teach students and teachers about the inherent value of South Carolina’s marine ecosystem and resources. Participants assist in data collection and interact with various marine organisms during their visit. With an emphasis on estuarine ecology, students learn to connect local conservation issues to broad science concepts while developing critical science investigation skills. Vessel cruises are tailored to meet the state and national education standards for each visiting group.

Aboard the E/V Discovery, participants will learn about marine, estuarine and salt marsh ecosystems. SCDNR staff will teach about the following topics: