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 2023 – The Way Water Behaves

Focus Questions

  • Why is stormwater a concern for communities like Charleston, S.C.?
  • How do rain gardens and rain barrels help reduce the risks associated with stormwater?
  • What is one benefit of using native plants in landscaping and yards?

Alignment with College- and Career-Ready South Carolina Science Standards


K-ESS2-2. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

K-ESS3-3. Obtain and communicate information to define problems related to human impact on the local environment.


1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.


2-ESS2-1. Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

2-ESS3-1. Design solutions to address human impacts on natural resources in the local environment.


3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the effectiveness of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.


4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.


5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

5-ESS3-1. Evaluate potential solutions to problems that individual communities face in protecting the Earth’s resources and environment.


6-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to identify patterns, which help forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.


7-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

7-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

HS Biology

B-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing impacts of human activities on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

HS Earth Science

E-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces the impacts of human activities on natural systems.

Lesson Links and Educational Resources

This issue of Coastal Heritage focuses on how to mitigate the impacts of stormwater through ecological methods such as rain gardens, rain barrels, and native plants. The following lesson links and educational resources expand on these subjects in order of appearance in this issue.

One Cool Earth Curriculum: Alive and Well in a Watershed

One Cool Earth provides Next Generation Science Standard-aligned curriculum centered around humans’ relationship with water in a three-part series. Check out the first part of the series, “Alive and Well in a Watershed,” to engage students in learning how soils are connected to healthy watersheds. A Spanish version of the curriculum is available. (K-6)

Explore Watersheds with the Enviroscape

The Wetlands Enviroscape Model is a hands-on tool that allows exploration on how watersheds can be impacted by development, pollution, and other natural and human-made factors. The Enviroscape model is available to borrow for free from S.C. Sea Grant Consortium for K-12 and nonformal educators! This kit comes with all the supplies needed to engage students in a lesson about watersheds and pollution. (K-12)

How Rain Gardens Filter Water

Build a mini rain garden and learn about how rain gardens help filter water through a rain garden lab from Science Buddies! This lesson is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. (3)

Carolina Rain Garden Initiative

Dive into more information about rain gardens, rain barrels, and how you can make your neighborhood green spaces better equipped for stormwater from the Carolina Rain Garden Initiative from Clemson Cooperative Extension. (9-12)

Carolina Yards: Plant Database

As mentioned in this issue, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation offers a wildlife habitat certification for greenspaces that meet certain criteria. If you are interested in certifying a green space near your home, school, or another part of your community, check out the Carolina Yards: Plant Database from Clemson Cooperative Extension! Select from search criteria such as native plants, sunlight amount, stormwater management, and more to help you decide what plants to select for your green space. (9-12)

Field Trip Opportunities

Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest

This issue highlighted Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest (Beidler) and its pristine cypress-tupelo swamp habitat. Request a school field trip at Beidler, consider reserving a time to visit the boardwalk trail, or take some time to visit the newly opened grassland woodland trail. (K-12)

Caw Caw Interpretive Center

Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission’s (CCPRC) Caw Caw Interpretive Center is another excellent place to explore a swamp habitat. CCPRC has several school program offerings that connect to swamps, marshes, and other wetlands. Visit the CCPRC website to request a program. (Pre-K – College)