Coastal Master Naturalists...

Registration Open for Blue Wall Birding Festival

Fourth Annual Blue Wall Birding Festival, held in Upstate South Carolina, from May 3-6, 2018.
Landscape view of Table Rock Mountain
Table Rock State Park

This small festival is again being hosted by South Carolina State Parks, and is meant to showcase the great spring birding that the area has to offer, as well as the area’s fantastic state parks. Birders who attended any of the previous festivals or the Carolina Bird Club meeting at Clemson in 2015 can attest to the great birding that Upstate SC has to offer in the spring.

Festival field trips will include The SC Botanical Garden at Clemson, the Townville area, the Nine Times Preserve, Table Rock and Caesars Head State Parks, Lake Jocassee, and Lake Conestee Nature Park. New this year will be a workshop on birding by ear, and we’ll again this year include one butterfly-focused field trip. Participation will be capped at 50 birders. For more information, click the link below.

Shorebird Steward Training at Caw Caw, February 20, 2018 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Shorebird Stewards is a program that engages a growing group of volunteers to protect coastal birds. Volunteers patrol high-traffic beaches where birds are on a collision course with weekend crowds and help visitors share the shore with birds.At the training, you’ll be introduced to shorebird and seabird species and learn how to approach someone on the beach to talk about shorebird conservation.   To register contact Nolan Schillerstrom at

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
10:00am – 12:30pm
Ravanel, South Carolina

View SC Audubon post here


Advanced Training Opportunity – Plants the Permaculture Way ~ December 3rd and 4th 2016

Surplus Permaculture Design is offering a course where you can gain techniques to help identify and use local trees and plants, come to an understanding of their significance in the landscape and practice using these plants for food, medicine and utility.  You will also study how natural plants form guilds and communities and how these structures can be utilized or replicated to provide for many of needs. For more information and/or to register, please visit this link!


Zugunruhefest – Center for Birds of Prey ~ September 15-17 2016

Introducing Zugunruhefest – the Southeast’s most comprehensive migration-focused birding festival. Zugunruhe (zu – gun – rue) is a German word derived from Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (restlessness). This state of restlessness is commonly noted in migratory animals, especially birds. As fall approaches and instincts prevail, birds are compelled by this silent call to take flight to their wintering grounds. As part of the Atlantic Flyway, the Lowcountry serves as a predictable thoroughfare for migrating raptors and shore birds during fall migration passage. Exploiting the Center’s strategic location, Zugunruhefest will afford numerous opportunities for observers, both novice and advanced, to experience fall migration from an exceptional vantage point. In addition to onsite vendors and children’s activities, the festival will include three days filled with naturalists, ornithologists, and educators leading bird walks, flight demonstrations, informative lectures and programs, and more. The festival will culminate with a panel of avian experts in a round-table discussion and reception. Significantly, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which provides over-arching legal protection for all migratory birds, is marking its Centennial this year, a fitting context and milestone to recognize as we celebrate the wonders of migration.

When: Thursday – Saturday, September 15 – 17, 2016

Where: Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 North Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429. Bird walks, field trips and excursions will take place in additional locations throughout the Lowcountry.

Admission: Fees vary depending on activities chosen. For a complete schedule of activities with pricing, please visit or call 843.971.7474 to have a schedule emailed to you.  

**There are a few volunteer opportunities available if you are interested in manning an education table, please call Emily Davis at 330-607-5914

Day by Day Details

Event Schedule



The Coastal Geology and Ecology of South Carolina Lecture ~September 6th 2016

The coastal geology of South Carolina is complex, formed by the combined processes of sea level rise, sediment supply, waves, and tides. This presentation consists of two parts. Part I describes the general processes and landforms of the coast, explaining the history of how the South Carolina coast evolved and how processes such as waves, tides, sediment supply, and sea level rise have combined to produce the modern coastal features such as barrier islands, deltas, estuaries, tidal flats, and salt marshes. Discussion of the impacts of hurricanes, changes in sediment supply that are both natural and man-made, the beach cycle, and methods to control erosion is included. Part II describes in more detail the coastal geomorphology of each of four compartments: the Grand Strand; the Delta Region; the Barrier Islands; and the Low Country. Explanations are provided for key features of the coast such as Carolina bays, capes, barrier islands, and tidal inlets.

This lecture will be given by Drs. Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline Michel, on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 from 4:30 – 5:30m SSM 129, College of Charleston (202 Calhoun St.) Signed copies of their book, A Coast for All Seasons: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Coast of South Carolina, will be available for purchase at $20.

A Coast for All Seasons




Crabbers Needed for a developing Diamondback Terrapin Study!!

Diamondback terrapins are the only exclusively estuarine turtle found in North American and in South Carolina, they are listed as a “high priority” species for conservation in the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.

Dr. Michael D. Arendt, Assistant Marine Scientist at the SC Department of Natural Resources is still looking for folks that would be interested in participating in a Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) evaluation study. He is looking for both commercial and recreational blue crabbers to help test out BRDs on crab traps. Please visit this link to fill out a short survey OR feel free email him at or call 843-953-9097 for more information.

Another way you can help out this research, if you are not a crabber, is to act as a citizen scientist and become familiar with the Diamonback Terrapin Reporting Form. Use it as often as you can, along with telling others about it! Click here for access to this form! and for more general information about these amazing reptiles click on this link!



Free Workshop on Communicating about Climate Change ~ Friday September 9th 2016

Hosted by ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and SC Department of Natural Resources, this workshop will provide a review of climate change causes and impacts and introduce participants to the elements of strategic framing of varying climate change topics. The workshop takes place from 8:30am to 12pm at the Fort Johnson Marine Research Resource Institute Indoor Classroom and it aims to increase participants’ confidence in their ability to communicate climate change issues in an efficient manner. The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Click on the following link to Email for more information and to register.

Red Knots

Join SCDNR for a Shorebird/Seabird Workshop ~ April 5th 10am – 3 pm

This workshop will be held at the SCDNR Marine Resource Division auditorium at Ft. Johnson and is open to everyone. There will be presentations and time to meet others interested in coastal bird conservation. More details to follow. Please email Felicia Sanders if you are interested in attending and would like to receive updated agenda and information.


  • Seabird nesting status in SC
  • Protection of nesting and roosting areas (how to get signs, help post areas, etc.)
  • Least terns nesting on roofs
  • International shorebird surveys (ISS) – methods and SC summary
  • Resighting banded shorebirds
  • Results of shorebird research in SC
  • Volunteer opportunities


Blue Wall Birding Festival ~ May 12-15th, 2016 ~ Table Rock State Park

This is the second year of the Blue Wall Birding Festival which is a collaborative effort between the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) and the Greenville County Bird Club.

Master Naturalists could earn as much as 18-20 hours of advanced training in either the Blue Ridge or Piedmont biogeographical regions depending on the trip selected and if you attend both day and evening programs. Remember that travel time and meal time does not count towards hours for statewide certification.

All information about the festival and how to register can be found at


Certified Interpretive Guide Training Workshop ~ February 2nd-5th 2016

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, in partnership with the National Association for Interpretation, is offering a professional certification course for individuals who will be delivering interpretive programs or having public contact at interpretive sites.  The Certified Interpretive Guide program is designed for anyone who delivers interpretive programs to the public. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors.

For more information and to register, please visit

Questions? Contact Beth Burkett at