Select Page

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, Winter 2013 issue: Lowcountry Living Shorelines: Restoring Carolina’s Reefs

Focus Questions

  • What are three reasons why oysters are important to South Carolina?
  • Describe the oyster cannery in South Carolina. Where were most of the canneries located?
  • What are three threats to the health and sustainability of oysters?  
  • What does it mean to “recycle” oyster shell? Why is this process important? 
  • What is the public trust doctrine and how does it apply to oysters?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards!


3rd Grade
3-2.2: Explain how physical and behavioral adaptations allow organisms to survive (including hibernation, defense, locomotion, movement, food obtainment, and camouflage for animals and seed dispersal, color, and response to light for plants).

3-2.3: Recall the characteristics of an organism’s habitat that allow the organism to survive there.

3-2.4: Explain how changes in the habitats of plants and animals affect their survival.

4th Grade
4-4.1: Summarize the processes of the water cycle (including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and runoff).

5th  Grade
5-2.3: Compare the characteristics of different ecosystems (including estuaries/salt marshes, oceans, lakes and ponds, forests, and grasslands).

5-3.1: Explain how natural processes (including weathering, erosion, deposition, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and floods) affect Earth’s oceans and land in constructive and destructive ways.

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

7th Grade
7-4.1: Summarize the characteristics of the levels of organization within ecosystems (including populations, communities, habitats, niches, and biomes).

7-4.3: 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.

7-4.6: Classify resources as renewable or nonrenewable and explain the implications of their depletion and the importance of conservation.

9th-12th Grade
ES-5.6: Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of devices used to control and prevent coastal erosion and flooding.

ES-5.8: Analyze environments to determine possible sources of water pollution (including industrial waste, agriculture, domestic waste, and transportation devices).

Lesson Links

SCORE! Oyster Activities
The South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) program has engaging activities to teach your students about oyster reefs. The SCORE website also has great background information on oyster biology and other resources. Check out the website at . (6th – 12th)

Oyster Reef Poster
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has a free poster Oyster Reef Invertebrates that can be used as a teaching tool in your classroom. (K – 12th)

Get Involved

SCORE Volunteers
From bagging loose shell to building new oyster reefs, the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) program works with volunteers to create or restore healthy oyster habitat along South Carolina’s coastline. Want to volunteer? Visit the SCORE website to learn more: . (6th – 12th)

From Seeds to Shoreline
Spartina alterniflora, commonly known as smooth cord grass, is the dominant plant in the salt marsh. Spartina and oysters work together to stabilize coastal shorelines, provide critical habitat, and filter the water. The From Seeds to Shoreline program is an opportunity for students and teachers to become involved in growing and transplanting Spartina to areas along the coastline. Learn more about how to become involved by visiting .  (3rd – 12th)

Literature Connections

Sea Science Series: Oysters and Clams
This publication by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provides background on two common mussels in South Carolina: the eastern oyster and the hard clam. Download a free copy from the website to share with your students: . (5th – 12th)

South Carolina Oyster Industry: A History
Dr. Victor Burrell, formerly with the SC Department of Natural Resources, published South Carolina Oyster Industry: A History which provides an in depth look at how and where oysters were harvested in South Carolina. Access this document by visiting: . (9th – 12th)