Coastal Master Naturalists...

Volunteer with the Coastal Master Naturalist Association

The Coastal Master Naturalist Association Board of Directors works together to manage the administrative tasks of the association. This includes providing volunteer and advanced training opportunities and nature-based field trips for our members. We are getting ready for the 2018 year and there are some Board of Director positions open.

Serving on the CMNA Board is a wonderful way to support the mission of the Master Naturalist program, to share your skills and experiences to help shape the future of the CMNA. Additionally, serving on our Board provides opportunities to cultivate relationships within our local communities. The time you put into these positions also counts as volunteer hours toward yearly and statewide Master Naturalist certification.

Please join us! If you are interesting in serving on the 2018 CMNA Board OR interested in joining a committee, please respond between November 17th and December 1st, 2017 to either Ray Ward or Mike Davis 


CMNA Graduation Celebration and Semi-Annual Meeting ~ Sunday January 14th 2018 2-5pm

SAVE THE DATE now on your shiny new 2018 calendars! Come mingle with fellow graduates of the Charleston Master Naturalist program and meet members of the Board of Directors for the Coastal Master Naturalist Association. Enjoy an afternoon surrounded by your nature tribe full of like-minded individuals! The event will go on rain or shine! More details soon to follow – Be on the lookout for a Sign-up Genius email for this event!


Volunteer for a Christmas Bird Count!!

Audubon’s 118th Christmas Bird Count will take place Thursday, December 14th, 2017 through Friday, January 5th, 2018. Since the Christmas Bird count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteers like you. Please visit this link to learn more.

There are several counts that will take place in the Charleston area. Please visit this link for a searchable map view of the circles that are planned to be run near us (or far away if you are traveling) in the 118th CBC. The more volunteers that the area compilers can enlist, the greater the coverage they can provide to their count areas. It is a wonderful way to get time outdoors and gain your volunteer hours!

Volunteer as a Shorebird Steward with Audubon SC

Have you been hearing all the buzz about being a shorebird steward? Were you worried that you had missed out on training opportunities? Well, if so – you are in luck, since more training sessions were just added. It’s simple- just pick the best time/location for you! If you are a Facebook user please visit these links to let them know you are coming…

July 22nd at Caw Caw

July 29th at Wild Dunes

If you have further questions or need to sign up outside of Facebook, please email Nolan Schillerstrom at

SCORE Volunteer Opportunity for Boaters! July 5th 2017

Join S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the S.C. American Canoe Association’s Stewardship Team for the July 5th Reef Construction Event. Plan is to meet at the Wappoo Cut boat landing at 9:30 AM. Once there, SCDNR will load a barge with pre-made recycled oyster shell bags. After loading, the group will kayak or powerboat (you need your own boat – Sea Kayak Carolina is renting them at a discount for this event) down to the build site (right underneath the James Island Connector) on Wappoo cut to the shoreline where SCDNR will have parked the barge. Then the fun reef construction begins! Volunteers must wear close-toed shoes (no flip flops or crocs), and clothes they don’t mind getting muddy. They will provide water, Gatorade, first aid, sunscreen, bug spray, gloves and eye protection. Be eco-friendly and bring your own refillable water bottles! Please email Ashley Brown, the coordinator for this event with any questions or to sign up!

If you are interested in the Meetup Announcemnt for this event – feel free to visit this link!

Oyster Reef Construction Volunteer Opportunities ~ June 2017

Come get muddy with SC Aquarium as they work with DNR South Carolina Oyster Restoration & Enhancement (SCORE) to build the aquarium’s second artificial oyster reef.  This will restore the habitat for fishes, crabs, shrimp, and turtles, and help buffer the shoreline against erosion and rising tides. The dates that still had opening are as follows…..

  • Monday June 19: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday June 20: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • Wednesday June 21: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm

The plan is to meet at the Wappoo Cut Boat Ramp, Folly Road Blvd. Located under the Folly Road drawbridge in the West Ashley area of Charleston, SC

What to bring/wear:  water to drink, sunscreen, clothes that can get wet and dirty and are appropriate to the weather, closed toed shoes that protect you from oyster shell (tennis shoes and work boots are appropriate; absolutely no flip flops, water shoes, or other sandals that will come off in the pluffmud or expose your feet to very sharp oyster shell); a towel or change of shoes to clean up prior to getting back into your car.

What to know:

  • Boats will load and depart from the Wappoo Cut Boat Ramp promptly at the start of each day. A 5-10 minute boat ride will transport you to and from to the build site. Return times are approximate.
  • Each volunteer should make his or her own arrangements to be at the Wappoo Cut Boat Ramp on Folly Rd. in time for loading.
  • 7th grade and older only, please.
  • Volunteers must be comfortable walking on uneven ground (oyster shell, pluffmud) and capable of lifting ~20 lbs. There will be walking boards to stand on in some places since the shoreline may be very soft.
  • You will get very dirty and most likely wet to some degree – your feet will definitely get covered in mud and seawater.
  • We will begin each day by loading 350 bags of oyster shell at Wappoo Cut Boat Ramp into a skiff for transport to the build site.
  • The builds will last 2.5-3 hours.
  • We need at least 10 people each day and can accommodate many, many more.
  • The build will only be cancelled for severe weather. Please be aware of the elements and dress appropriately.  Please provide a contact number so we can notify you in the event of cancellation.


Please send your name, date you would like to volunteer, and a contact number to Rachel Kalisperis or 843-579-8610

Another option is to join Charleston Waterkeeper & SCDNR for later stages of this reef construction! They will meet at the Wappoo Cut Boat Landing on June 23 at 12:30 PM. All materials are provided, including gloves, eye protection, water, gatorade, bug spray, and sunscreen. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and close-toed shoes. Be eco-friendly and bring your reusable water bottle to refill! Sign up to volunteer online at

Bird Banding Volunteer Opportunities with Audubon SC ~ June /July 2017

Audubon South Carolina has started a new bird banding project at the Francis Beidler Forest being initiated this spring/summer. They will be running a bird banding station as part of the MAPS program – Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship – which is a national initiative run through the Institute for Bird Populations. They will be banding in the forested habitat behind the barn at Beidler, not far from the visitor center, in the same area where past Audubon employees have done banding work. They are interested to learn what species are using this habitat; from past projects, and know that many fledglings (including those of Prothonotary Warblers) and some rare species (e.g. – Swainson’s Warbler) have been found in this area.

A MAPS banding station only requires nine banding days throughout the summer, spread fairly evenly throughout June and July. They are seeking volunteers to help with this project; this is a great way to learn more about birds and bird banding by experiencing the process up close. A typical MAPS day starts around 5:15 a.m. and runs through noon, though volunteers could arrive any time between start time and 9:00 a.m. If interested, be prepared for heat, biting insects, a good amount of walking and the possibility of encountering snakes. Participants will need to bring food, plenty of water, and appropriate footwear. Our setup area is arranged so that we are never far from our vehicles during the course of the morning, so volunteers won’t need to carry everything with them throughout the day.

For questions, or to be added to our list of volunteers for this project, please contact Matt Johnson at .

SC Breeding Bird Survey Route Volunteers Needed!

Hello Bird Enthusiasts!

As SC state coordinator for the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) I’d like to send a call out to see if any of you are interested in volunteering to run one or more available BBS routes. We have several vacant routes in SC-13 in the Southeastern coastal plain and 4 in the Piedmont. A map of available routes and information about the BBS can be found here

For anyone not familiar with the BBS, each route consists of 50 three-minute stops at 0.5 mile intervals along a 24.5 mile route. All the stops are roadside. Each route is conducted once a year between mid May to late June. The survey starts 30 minutes before sunrise and is typically finished in about 4 hours. Volunteers need to be able to identify all the anticipated breeding bird species in the area by sight and sound; most birds detected will only be by their vocalizations. The BBS prefers if volunteers are willing to commit to running a route for at least 3 years when possible.

If you are interested in volunteering, or have any additional questions, please let me know.


Amy Tegeler ~ SCDNR Bird Conservation Coordinator

SC BBS Coordinator 803-521-2119

Photo by Keith McCullough

CCPRC’s Education Team has a need for beach volunteers in May!

Charleston County Park’s Education Department has a need for volunteers on the following days:

  • May 15, 9:30-12:30 at Folly Beach County Park
  • May 22, 11-1:30 at Beachwalker County Park
  • May 25, 9:00-12:00 at Folly Beach County Park

The beach program volunteer will assist in the implementation of marine science school field trips.  This may include, but is not limited to: setting up for beach programs, pulling seine nets in the surf zone, assisting in the teaching of children, cleaning up after programs, and assisting in the maintenance of beach program supplies.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of local marine fish and invertebrates
  • Knowledge of coastal processes
  • Knowledge of local flora found on South Carolina Barrier Islands
  • Ability to work with large groups of school children
  • Ability to function outdoors in a wide range of weather conditions
  • Ability to make competent decisions
  • Ability to provide excellent customer service to our park visitors
  • Ability to follow instructions effectively and work in a responsible and competent manner
  • Ability to establish and maintain harmonious relationships

If interested, please email Beth Burkett at to sign up. Volunteers will be asked to register with the Park’s volunteer system at

SCDNR is seeking more volunteers this week ~ May 8th -May 13th!

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is seeking more help to post bird nesting signs on Deveaux Bank Seabird Sanctuary near Seabrook Island and Botany Bay this Monday, May 8. They will boat to the island from Rockville in the morning and will need help carrying posts, using a drill to put signs up to protect bird nests. If you are capable and interested please email Felicia Sanders at and let her know you are available. Then Felicia will contact you.

Red knot trapping (round 2)

This Thursday (May 11) through Saturday (May 13)  SCDNR will attempt to capture red knots at Deveaux Bank as they feed on horseshoe crab eggs. If they are able to trap, they need help setting up nets, carrying gear and if successful banding red knots. Trapping attempts are very long days so you need to be available all day starting early in the morning. This will include boating to the site.

If you are capable and interested please email Felicia at and let her know what day(s) you are available. Then Felicia will be in touch as plans finalize.