Coastal Master Naturalists...

Volunteers needed for winter shorebird surveys!

Audubon South Carolina is helping with a research project involving shorebirds and human disturbance on the beach. The research is led by the Virginia Tech Shorebird Program. We are in the final stage of conducting surveys through this winter and need more volunteers with shorebird ID skills to help out! If you are interested in participating, please email Nolan Schillerstrom, Audubon’s Coastal Program Coordinator, at  and he will send you a quick questionnaire to place you on a survey. Surveys will be conducted at Folly Beach Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve and Sullivan’s Island and consist of spotting and recording sightings of Red Knot, Wilson’s Plover, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Semipalmated Sandpiper as well as counting disturbances such as dogs (on and off leash), people (moving and stationary), boats, and aircraft. Feel free to call 843.459.BIRD (2473) with questions.

Volunteers needed for Christmas Bird Counts!

The Christmas Bird Count is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24 hour period on one calendar day to count birds. The 119th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted this year from Friday, December 14, 2018 through Saturday, January 5, 2019. Since the Christmas Bird count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteers like you! There are several counts that take place in the area…. for more information and more count sites across South Carolina to consider.

The Nature Conservancy – Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity

For anyone who enjoys working outdoors with plants and landscaping, The Nature Conservancy could use a few people to help us with some maintenance at the Driftwood Plantation property near Awendaw, SC.  For those of you not familiar with this tract of land, it looks out over the marshes towards Bull Island and is a beautiful setting. TNC could use help with shrub trimming, weed and vine pulling, fertilizing, and other landscape and maintenance activities.  This would be something that would be ongoing, not necessarily every week, but at some regular time frame so the house and outbuildings are neat looking.

Anyone interested please let Ed Siggelko (State Volunteer Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy, SC Chapter) know and he’ll set up an initial meeting at the property to cover the work to be done and tools they’ll have available versus what they may need to have you bring along. Some of the potential dates to meet one of their staff out there to review the work to be done are 9/28, 10/3 or 10/5.

His email address is

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edisto Island Beach Clean Up – June 30, 2018 10:00 – 12:00 Beach Access 13

Join CMNA on Edisto Island Beach to Clean Up the Beach!
June 30 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Beach Access 13, Palmetto Blvd. Edisto Island, SC

The Coastal Master Naturalist Association (CMNA) has adopted Edisto Island through the South Carolina Adopt-A-Beach Program.

The Adopt-A-Beach program is part of the DHEC Marine Debris Initiative and is a great way for us to make a significant contribution to the preservation of our coastal environment. Everyone who participates in a beach cleanup becomes an advocate for the beach against litter. Thanks to everyone working to keep our coast clean and healthy!

Please sign-up using SignUp Genius , or show up, more the merrier!

If you have any questions or problems signing up, please contact Debbie Seabrook

Volunteer Opportunity at Caw Caw Interpretive Center – Caterpillars Count!

We have a fledgling Caterpillars Count! survey site at Caw Caw.

Caterpillars Count! is a citizen science project for measuring the seasonal variation, also known as phenology, and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders found on the foliage of trees and shrubs. The data you collect on the abundance and phenology of caterpillars and other insects during the growing season (spring and summer) is used by researchers to relate trends in arthropod populations to bird population trends in those same areas, and to better understand how changes in climate and land use impact the plants and animals around us.

Join us as we conduct surveys every Thursday in May starting at 10:45 am. (May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31)

A complete survey consists of looking at 50 leaves on each designated tree or shrub. There are 50 trees and shrubs specified around Caw Caw from the classroom area to Laurel Hill area.

found on Caterpillars Count! survey

We are organizing and training volunteers to survey either with this group or on their own.  This opportunity will continue all spring and summer. You can participate as often as you want.  Please come and join us counting the arthropods.  This is a great way to volunteer for a citizen science project and to visit our wonderful Caw Caw Interpretive Center.

Contact Debbie Seabrook at for more information or just show up!



Volunteer Opportunity – Beach Program Volunteers needed on May 25 from 8:45-11:00 at Folly Beach County Park


The Education Department of the Charleston County Parks is requesting Beach Program Volunteers on May 25 from 8:45-11:00 at Folly Beach County Park.

On May 25th approximately 200 middle schools students are scheduled to visit Folly Beach County Park to participate in seining programs. The Park’s ED team is requesting eight volunteers to assist in setting up for programs, pulling seine nets in the surf zone, and packing up supplies after class. Students will be divided into small groups and volunteers will be paired up with a Park educator. If interested, please email Beth Burkett at to sign up. Volunteers will be asked to register with the Park’s volunteer system.

Seining at beach


Volunteer Opportunity – Congaree National Park Annual Synchronous Fireflies Event May 11 – 20, 2018

Congaree National Park’s Visitor Center will be open till 10pm from Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 20 for the annual synchronous fireflies event. They are expecting thousands of visitors and will need LOTS of volunteer assistance. They will need help with the following:
  • Law Enforcement rangers will need 4-6 volunteers every night to assist with traffic and parking
  • The Visitor Center will need 2-4 volunteers nightly
  • They will be creating a “Fireflies Trail” starting at the Picnic Shelter and will need 2-4 volunteers to be at the shelter and to rove the trail.
This is an all-hands event for the park staff and they will be getting assistance from other National Park Service sites and from the South Carolina State Park Service. Even with this help, volunteers are going to be essential to this event’s success. If you have been interested in volunteering at the park, now would be a good time to start. Contact Greg Cunningham ( if interested.

Dolphin Count April 28, 2018

Want to be a scientist for a day? Sign up for the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network’s Dolphin Count on April 28, 2018.  Sign up here!

Research has shown that there is little awareness in the Charleston community about our local dolphin population. There are approximately 300 individual dolphins that call Charleston home year-round. The aim of this event is to give a general “snapshot” of the dolphin population in the Charleston Harbor over a short period of time. As well as gaining valuable research data, we hope this event will raise awareness about the conservation of our marine environment. Marine mammal experts and trained volunteers will be at each of the eleven (maybe more) stations to give instructions, lead counts and will be prepared to answer questions about dolphins. 

CCPRC Beach Program Volunteer wanted

The Education Department of the Charleston County Parks is requesting a Beach Program Volunteer on March 26, 2018, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at the Isle of Palms County Park.

Under the supervision of the Education Department the beach program volunteer will assist in the implementation of marine sciences programs.  This may include, but not ilimited to: setting up for beach programs, pulling seine netsin the surf zone, assisting in 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 wour 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.


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