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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 2014 issue: On the Waterfront: Can Traditional Industries Survive Explosive Change?

Focus Questions

  • What is the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIW) and where is it located? What function does the AIW serve?
  • What are the six industrial sectors that make up South Carolina’s “ocean economy”? Which one ranks the highest in providing jobs?
  • What positive and negative impacts did the introduction of container ships have on coastal port towns and communities? Provide an example of how port towns are being revitalized.
  • How are ports categorized? Describe each in terms of usage and tonnage.

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards


5th Grade
5-3.6 Explain how human activity (including conservation efforts and pollution) has affected the land and the oceans of Earth.

9th – 12th (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.

Social Studies

3rd Grade
3-5.6 Describe the growth of tourism and its impact on the economy of South Carolina, including the development of historic sites, state parks, and resorts, and the expanding transportation systems that allow for greater access to our state.

5th Grade
WG-5.4 Summarize the factors that influence the location and spatial distribution of economic activities, including the factors of site and situation (e.g., Singapore’s deep-water ports and their locations relative to markets).

WG-5.5 Explain the consequences of the current global trade systems for economic and environmental sustainability in both importing and exporting countries (e.g., the impacts of overfishing on local ecosystems to meet foreign product demand).

WG-5.6 Explain the connection between the delivery of goods and services and the transportation and communications networks that are needed to provide them (e.g., the hub-and-spoke systems used by airfreight companies).

8th Grade
WG-8.4 Analyze the relationships between the spatial distribution of humans and resources (e.g., the positive and negative consequences of resource use as exemplified by the shrinking of the Aral Sea).

Lesson Links

Current and Historical Ports
Using Google Earth and/or Google Ocean to locate the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIW). Pin the boundaries of the AIW and then identify and mark the two existing major ports. Next, research and pin the locations of 2 ports that are no longer in existence. Why are these ports no longer functional and/or existing? What were the major imports and exports at these two ports? (9th – 12th)

Port Webquest
(*Note: this activity requires visiting this website daily for a week.)

Visit the Charleston State Ports Authority and select the Operational Tools on the left-hand menu. Click on “Vessel Report.” Log the number of vessels per company that are both 1) in the port currently and 2) expected. For example, Maersk may have 3 vessels currently in port and 2 are anticipated. Revisit this website each day to calculate the same information. After one week, calculate the percentages of the top 2 companies that use the Charleston Port based on the number of vessels at port or expected. (5th – 12th)

Ocean Economies
Download a copy of the State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies found at . Determine the industries that make up the bulk of Georgia’s and North Carolina’s economies. How are they similar and different to South Carolina’s six “ocean industries”? (9th – 12th)

Field Trip Opportunities

Charleston Waterfront Park:
Charleston Museum:
South Carolina Maritime Museum (Georgetown, SC):