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Coastal Ecosystems Homeschool Unit Study

Welcome to our homeschool unit study on coastal ecosystems! Join us on the farm as we explore the wonders of the our coastline and its unique ecosystems. Through engaging activities and hands-on experiences, your children will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving our coastal habitats. Let's dive in and discover the beauty of our coastal community together!

Included in the course is the From Seeds to Shoreline curriculum that will focus on the cultivation of Sporobolus alterniflorus, the dominant plant in southeastern salt marshes. S. alterniflorus can be seen as the anchor – without this foundational plant, the salt marsh ecosystem would not be able to establish itself along our coastline.

The Seeds to Shoreline program includes five main steps: seed collection, seed storage, seed germination, seedling cultivation, and seedling transplantation. All five steps are done over the course of the academic school year, starting in the fall with seed collection and ending in the spring with a Restoration Day when students transplant their young Sporobolus alterniflorus seedlings.” SC Seagrant.org

“The course will provide students with the opportunity to study the salt marsh tidal creek ecosystem that is crucial as a nursery ground for some estuarine animals, such as mud minnows and snails, that complete their life cycle within this ecosystem. Others, such as white and brown shrimp, red drum, mullet, and blue crab as well as many other recreationally and commercially valuable fish species spawn in the open estuary and ocean where initial developmental occurs. Students will become aware of the many species of birds that feed on the small fishes and invertebrates that live in the salt marsh. We will look closely at birds that nest in Southeastern salt marshes as well as reptiles, amphibians and mammals that live and thrive there and depend upon the Spartina grass and its role in the marshes.” SCDNR

The lessons in the course will meet many of the national and state ecosystem science standards for the elementary and secondary grade levels. Other activities during the course will include oyster shell collection and recycling, beach sweeps and observing and possibly participating in the building of artificial oyster reefs. We participated in a reef building last month and look forward to future building events.

For more information and to register visit our our registration section.

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