Back To School: Field Trips!

Hello, Adventurers! Welcome back to the Coastal Expeditions blog! If this is your first time visiting our blog, we’re happy to have you here. We are all about nature, adventure, and making the most out of the beautiful outdoors of South Carolina. If you enjoy all things hiking, paddling, kayaking, and spending time outdoors, you’ve come to the right place! Here on the blog, we dive deep into different habitats, excursions, conservation efforts, and nature programs. Our site is filled with interactive maps, destination guides, and educational resources. Since the weather is incredibly warm, we want to help you get out there and take advantage of all that the Lowcountry has to offer! We offer guided tours of the beautiful Lowcountry by kayak, paddleboard, ferry, boat, and private charter. We also have hands-on workshops taught by highly-trained guides on wilderness skills, birding, identifying native plants, sustainability, and camping. Anything you want to learn about, we teach! If you haven’t already, we encourage you to take a look around our site to learn more about our offerings. In our last post, we discussed some of our marine friends that can be found in Lowcountry waters: Manatees! Today, we’ll be shifting gears to discuss some of the field trip opportunities we have here at Coastal Expeditions. Back to school is right around the corner, and we aim to provide an array of educational opportunities to help young people learn more about the ecosystems in the Lowcountry! If you are interested in learning about some of the field trips we offer, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.

 

As we approach the start of a new school year– or “the most wonderful time of the year” according to many parents– we want to remind our readers of some of the field trip opportunities we offer. What better way to get kids excited to learn than with a field trip! Here at Coastal Expeditions, we are dedicated to educating people on the beauty of the Lowcountry. From its barrier islands to its ecosystems and everything in between, the Lowcountry has so much to offer, and our knowledgeable staff is always eager to teach! We have led field trips in this area for nearly 30 years and during this time we have taken over 50,000 students on field trips! Our Naturalist Educators have safety certifications in first aid, CPR, ACA kayaking, and lifeguarding. Additionally, all of our boats are designed for safe passage and are certified yearly by the U.S. Coast Guard, and all of our captains hold master captain licenses. Our field trips and guided tours are safe and fun for all ages! 

 

One of the field trips we offer is our Crab Bank Quest, which is a sea kayaking trip that departs from our Mount Pleasant location on Shem Creek. On this trip, will paddle out to Crab Bank, a narrow strip of land in the heart of Charleston Harbor. Crab Bank is one of only 5 seabird rookery islands in the state! This seabird sanctuary was established to protect the nesting habitat of sea and shorebirds, and was originally formed in the 1950s and 60s with the placement of dredged materials– Sediment excavated or removed from the bottoms of the waters. Although this material has significantly eroded over time, Crab Bank still supports colonies of nesting birds today. Part of what draws the birds to this area is the fact that the island is isolated and has a lack of predators. Some types of birds that have nested on Crab Bank include brown pelicans, black skimmers, great egrets, and laughing gulls. (If you are interested in learning more about water birds, check out one of our previous blogs!) On this trip, led by our naturalist educators at the Coastal Expeditions’ Outdoor School, students will learn about local ecosystems, as well as Charleston history. No prior kayaking or swimming experience is necessary– This trip combines learning kayaking skills with lessons in conservation, ecology, and history! It’s great for middle and high school students, and the duration of the field trip is around 3 hours long. 

 

Another field trip we offer is our Island Quest! This trip departs from Garris Landing in Awendaw and takes students to Bulls Island in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Coastal Expeditions has been leading this field trip since 1994, offering students a truly one-of-a-kind experience. On this trip, students will explore the inland trails or beach of this pristine barrier island. Bulls Island is made up of 5,000 acres of land and has a rich landscape that is home to plenty of wildlife, including dolphins, bald eagles, alligators, and all kinds of fish. This field trip combines a boat eco-tour with a nature walkabout, and the curriculum is adjusted for each grade level. For some added adventure, this field trip can be upgraded to the Advanced Island Quest, which offers a complete study of barrier island ecology. Students will get hands-on experience examining both the maritime forest and dynamic beach of Bulls Island. The itinerary of these trips can be customized to include birding, history, or geology. These trips are perfect for grades 2 to 12, and can be adapted for college and continuing education students!

 

If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience for younger children, our Boat Tour and Fossil Quest are ideal for elementary students! On this trip, students will take the Coastal Expeditions School Boat from our Mount Pleasant location to Morris Island! The island is around 840 acres, but has a rich history and unique ecosystem. Students will have the opportunity to walk down the beach and look for fossils and shark teeth. While beachcombing, they will learn about barrier island ecology and local history. Some wildlife students may spot along the way are bottlenose dolphins and Eastern brown pelicans! This trip is ideal for grades 1 to 5. 

 

One of our other field trip opportunities is our kayaking field trip with the South Carolina Outdoor Education Program! This trip gives students the unique opportunity to kayak on the Black River, which is a 151-mile-long blackwater river. Blackwater gets its name from its dark-colored water, sometimes resembling a tea or coffee color. This coloring is a result of tannins leached from plant material in surrounding swamps. Tannins are astringent chemical compounds that occur abundantly in nature, such as in the bark of many trees or a variety of fruits. Kayaking along the Black River offers a view of towering bald cypress trees, black willow, and pine. Additionally, students are bound to see a plethora of wildlife including turkeys, hawks, night herons, and swallow-tailed kites. This river is a favorite among our knowledgeable guides who know the area intimately! This trip is ideal for middle school students, and there is a priority for Georgetown, Williamsburg, and Charleston counties. 

 

As you can see, we offer a variety of field trips that give students of all ages unique experiences that they won’t be able to stop talking about! In addition to having fun, they will learn a lot about local ecosystems and are sure to leave with a greater appreciation for the Lowcountry. If you are interested in planning a field trip for your class, feel free to fill out this form, or reach out to us with any questions, and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible! We hope that you found this article informative and helpful. As always, we thank you for reading and we hope to see you back on our blog soon! If you have any questions about our guided tours, reach out to us! At Coastal Expeditions, we are committed to introducing people to the wonders of the ecosystems of the Charleston area by providing guided tours and educational opportunities. If you’re looking to explore all that the Lowcountry has to offer, check out our offerings on our website to find the adventure which suits you best! We also offer kid-friendly tours as well as kids programs, camps, and kayak lessons. Our tours are led by knowledgeable, approachable naturalists and sea captains who are eager to answer your questions! Until next time, readers. Get out there and explore! Adventure awaits!

Explore. Chat. Visit. And come on back, y’all.
@coastalexpeditions

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text

Isle of Palms Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Isle of Palms tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text