S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Coastal Heritage Curriculum Connection

Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Spring 2008 issue: Slowing Stormwater: Improving Water Quality by Imitating Nature

Focus Questions

  • What are some “green infrastructure” practices that can improve water quality in new developments and redevelopments? How is this different from “gray infrastructure practices”?
  • What is stormwater run-off and why can this be harmful to the environment?
  • Describe the effort by the Noisette Company and the City of North Charleston to rehabilitate part of the old Navy Yard. Specifically, what are “treatment trains”?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards

7th grade: Ecology – The Biotic and Abiotic Environment

7-4.1: Explain the interaction among changes in the environment due to natural hazards (including landslides, wildfires, and floods), changes in populations, and limiting factors (including climate and the availability of food and water, space, and shelter).

7-4.5: Summarize how the location and movement of water on Earth’s surface through groundwater zones and surface-water drainage basins, called watersheds, are important to ecosystems and to human activities.

9th – 12th grade: Biology

B-6.6: Explain how human activities (including population growth, technology, and consumption of resources) affect the physical and chemical cycles and processes of Earth. 

Lesson Links

Virtual Watershed Tours

South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) developed two interactive and educational virtual tours that guide you down watershed systems in South Carolina. Go to www.riverventure.org and begin your tour by clicking on the “Three Rivers” link, which will take a historical look at development along rivers in Columbia. Continue your journey toward the sea as you click on “The Estuary” virtual tour. You will travel the last part of the Cooper River in Charleston, ending at the terminal point of the watershed: the Atlantic Ocean! (6th – 12th)

Discover Your Watershed

Curious about where your watershed begins and where it eventually flows? Find out your location by using Google Earth. It’s an exciting way to learn about the watersheds in your area and understand how your location ties in with areas upstream and downstream from you! Click on http://earth.google.com and click on the download button to explore your watershed! Or go to http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/eduinfo.cfm and click on the “Locate Your Watershed” link to explore your watershed and learn about local efforts in your area! (6th-12th)

Stormwater Runoff: The Impacts and Effects

Stormwater runoff naturally occurs each time it rains – what the ground cannot absorb quickly enough ends up “running off” to another location. Stormwater has become a topic for concern because of the pollutants that often contaminate the runoff and end up in our water sources. The informaton found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/index.html offers several creative lesson plans focusing on the problems with stormwater runoff and what you can do about it! (9th-12th)

Good Choices for Development

  • Development can work in harmony with the environment by employing sustainable or “green” building practices. The Educator Toolbox found at
  • http://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/index.html provides an opportunity for students to investigate options for “green infrastructure.” (9th-12th)

Additional Information and Resource Links

A Better Look: Travel Destinations

  • The Noisette Company of North Charleston is working to revitalize the old Navy Yard using green building practices. Visit Riverfront Park which overlooks marshes surrounding Noisette Creek and the Cooper River. Learn more about the project by visiting.
  • The Edisto Interpretive Center at Edisto Beach State Park is a great local example of a “green building.” Pervious pavement, native plants, sustainable building products, and a variety of other green building practices were incorporated in the construction of this building. Learn more about the park by visiting www.scprt.com or take a look at the South Carolina Wildlife TV Show segment featuring the building.