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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, Summer 2021 – All Hands on Deck: Addressing Coastal Challenges of the Next 30 Years

Focus Questions

  • What are two coastal challenges that South Carolina will face in the next 30 years?
  • In what ways are historically and culturally significant areas such as the Philips Community and the Gullah Geechee sea island communities being impacted by climate change and development?
  • What innovations are being considered to address the impacts of flooding in areas of South Carolina?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Science Standards and Performance Indicators

1st Grade

  • 1.E.4B.2 Obtain and communicate information to explain ways natural resources can be conserved (such as reducing trash through reuse, recycling, or replanting trees).

3rd Grade

  • 3.E.4A.3 Obtain and communicate information to exemplify how humans obtain, use, and protect renewable and nonrenewable Earth resources.
  • 3.L.5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how the characteristics and changes in environments and habitats affect the diversity of organisms.

4th Grade

  • 4.E.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the water cycle and weather and climate patterns.

5th Grade  

  • 5.E.3B.4 Define problems caused by natural processes or human activities and test possible solutions to reduce the impact on landforms and the ocean shore zone.

7th Grade

  • 7.EC.5A.3 Analyze and interpret data to predict changes in the number of organisms within a population when certain changes occur to the physical environment (such as changes due to natural hazards or limiting factors).

High School Biology

  • H.B.6D.1 Design solutions to reduce the impact of human activity on the biodiversity of an ecosystem.

High School Earth Science

  • H.E.6A.5 Analyze and interpret data to describe how the quality of the water in drainage basins is influenced by natural and human factors (such as land use, domestic and industrial waste, weather/climate conditions, topography of the river channel, pollution, or flooding).

Lesson Links and Educational Resources

This issue of Coastal Heritage focuses on challenges that South Carolina will face in the next 30 years, including impacts of climate change and development. The following lesson links and educational resources expand on these subjects in order of appearance in this issue.

Previous Coastal Heritage Issues

Since 1982, the Consortium has been publishing Coastal Heritage, a free, quarterly publication that features a single important coastal topic within each issue. This current edition of Coastal Heritage highlights the challenges that South Carolina will face in the next 30 years and possible efforts to curb impacts. An archive of Coastal Heritage magazines can be found on the Consortium’s website with previous issues highlighting topics such as climate change, Gullah Geechee culture, coastal ecosystems, and others. Most issues are accompanied by a Curriculum Connection for educators with relevant activities and lesson plans. (K-12)

Salt Marsh Ecology Resources

Salt marsh-tidal creek ecosystems are being (and will continue to be) impacted by changes in climate and increasing coastal populations. Designed for use by both formal and nonformal educators, the Consortium as a suite of lessons plans and resources designed to educate about this critical habitat. Visit the Consortium’s website to view lesson plans, activity guides, field guide, videos, and other downloadable resources to learn more. (K-12)

NOAA Estuary Education Resources

To help educators incorporate estuarine topics in their curriculum, NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR) created a lessons and activities for all grade levels. With both general estuarine information as well as geographically-specific topics, these educational resources use hands-on learning, experiments, fieldwork, and data exploration to make estuary science exciting and relevant to your classroom. (K-12)

NOAA Coastal Decision-Making Lesson Plan

Incorporating social sciences in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classroom, this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Service Education lesson plan tasks students with problem solving through role-playing a variety of barrier island stakeholders. Students will use these different perspectives to examine the many human dimensions of coastal decision-making. (9-12)

SECOORA Curriculum

To expand sea-level rise science to K-12 audiences, the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) has created a 5E curriculum that incorporates real data. Students will study the Savannah/Tybee Island region of Georgia to better understand how coastal flooding, tides, sea-level rise, and climate change are impacting these communities. (6-8)

MyCoast: South Carolina Citizen Science App

To help document sea-level rise, storm damage, abandoned boats, and beach cleanups in South Carolina, you can download the MyCoast: South Carolina app from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Engage your students in a citizen science project that helps their community! (6-12)

Field Trip Opportunities

National Estuarine Research Reserve Sites

One of the primary functions of NERR sites across the United States is to serve as a living classroom to promote coastal and estuarine stewardship through education. South Carolina is home to two NERR sites, the ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay. In addition to hosting field trips and developing educational materials for the classroom, NERR sites also offer yearly professional development opportunities for teachers through the Teachers on the Estuary program.

Caw-Caw Interpretive Center

Once part of several rice plantations, Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission’s (CCPRC) Caw Caw Interpretive Center provides an excellent site to explore the natural and historical history of the Lowcountry. Environmental and social studies education programs are available for students from preschool through college and can be reserved through the CCPRC website.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Coastal Discovery Marine Education Program

Operating out of four coastal locations, SCDNR’s Marine Education Program provides a variety of place-based marine field trips. Students can gain hands-on experience in sample collection, data recording, and other critical science investigation skills. To find out more information and to book your field trip, visit the SCDNR Marine Education website.