Do you ever wonder what grows on piers, jetties, and docks? The BioDiscovery Project is a STEM (science-technology-engineering-math)-based initiative designed for educators and students to examine the organisms that colonize, or “foul”, these types of structures through species identification and water quality data collection.
Participating schools use a biorack, which when submerged, will start to colonize with species such as skeleton shrimp, algae, barnacles, and much more. The data collected is entered into the BioDiscovery Project’s data portal, which can be shared with other participating schools along and across watersheds.
Funded through a generous grant by the Bosch Community Fund, the BioDiscovery Project is coordinated by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission in partnership with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab, and Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.
At its foundation, this project was based on Maryland Sea Grant’s Biofilms and Biodiversity program that engages teachers and students in the exploration of biofouling communities in coastal Maryland.