Update: Sea Islands Shorebird Festival Registration Open

At this time, we are sold out of the bird walks. We are working to add more. In the meantime, please click here to visit the Festival homepage to see the other activities available to attend.

The first Sea Islands Shorebird Festival is a 2-day event on May 11 and 12, 2023 hosted and organized by local municipalities, governmental agencies, volunteer groups, and non-profit organizations working on coastal bird conservation and education.

 The festival celebrates the critically important sites of Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island for shorebirds, notably for the federally threatened Red Knot, for which these islands play a crucial role during their northern migration. 

The festival aims to celebrate shorebirds and the islands they depend on, educate community members and visitors, and raise awareness to protect these magnificent birds and places.

No registration required for The Feather Fest. Tickets to the Red Knot Reception are required and priced at $10.

-Tidelines Editors

(Image credit: Sea Islands Shorebird Festival)

Sea Islands Shorebird Festival Registration Open

The first Sea Islands Shorebird Festival is a 2-day event on May 11 and 12, 2023 hosted and organized by local municipalities, governmental agencies, volunteer groups, and non-profit organizations working on coastal bird conservation and education.

 The festival celebrates the critically important sites of Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island for shorebirds, notably for the federally threatened Red Knot, for which these islands play a crucial role during their northern migration. 

The festival aims to celebrate shorebirds and the islands they depend on, educate community members and visitors, and raise awareness to protect these magnificent birds and places. Click here to register for the various educational events that are lined up. 

No registration required for The Feather Fest. Tickets to the Red Knot Reception are required and priced at $10.

-Tidelines Editors

(Image credit: Sea Islands Shorebird Festival)

Reminder: SI Turtle Patrol Kickoff for the 2023 Season

The mission of the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol (The Turtle Patrol) is to recruit, train, and organize volunteers in a collective effort to monitor, preserve, protect, and facilitate the propagation of sea turtles on Seabrook Island. This is accomplished through identification and protection of nests, inventory of nests, data collection, and education of island residents and visitors.

Kick-off Meeting for 2023
Thursday, March 30, 6:00 pm
The Lake House

At this meeting, new members will learn what turtle patrol does and will have the opportunity to sign up for beach walking and other assignments and order patrol tee shirts. These tee shirts are mandatory to wear when working with The Turtle Patrol.

New Members: If you are new to turtle patrol and want to join this year, register each person by clicking on the Add Your Name to Volunteer List button found here.

Existing Members: If you were a 2022 member, an email with ordering and sign-up details has been sent to you.  If you have not received an email from Bill Nelson, please contact him.  We would like all orders from existing members be received no later than March 27, 2023.

More information on various volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Questions? Email us at Hello@SITurtlePatrol.com

-Submitted by Jane Magioncalda

Important: Bald Eagles’ Nest

We are thrilled that so many people are excited about our nesting pair of Bald Eagles and their two young, but we must remind you that the nest is on private property. Safely walking along the street is fine, but do not trespass on private property including the empty lot and all property in the area.

Every day, throughout the day, numerous people are walking into the yards of our neighbors and into the woods to the bird’s nest tree. This is trespassing!  It has also been reported that this activity is stressing the birds, the last thing any of us want to happen. Please read the blog we published two weeks ago about “Ethical Birding” to remind yourself of the proper etiquette while birding and photographing wildlife.

Thank you for respecting the property of our neighbors and your safety!

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: SIB)

Spring is Here!

Do you have a favorite season? For 33% of Americans, it begins today, Monday, March 20 as we welcome spring!  Signs of spring abound as the natural world revives and reinvigorates after the cooler winter months. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, fruit and vegetable seeds are sprouting, and pollen is spreading everywhere.

The first day of spring, the vernal equinox, occurs around March 20 each year. The term vernal is Latin for “spring” and equinox is Latin for “equal night“. There are two equinoxes each calendar year, one in the spring and one in the fall, when there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The autumnal equinox occurs on September 23 this year at 2:49 am.

With so much uncertainty in the world, spring brings not only additional sunlight, but also the promise of new beginnings inspired by the resilience of nature.  

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Rachel Carson

Tidelines Editors

(Image credit: vecteezy.com)

Full Moon Bonfire Tuesday, Mar 7

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
On the beach between BW 1 and 2

Sunset – 6:21 pm
Moonrise – 6:39 pm
High Tide – 8:24 pm
Full Worm Moon

The last full moon before the time change is Tuesday, March 7. The forecast is for a clear night and still cool enough to enjoy the fire, perfect for a great time on the beach with family and friends.

To keep things simple, each person brings what you want: food, drinks, chairs and a stick of firewood for a big bonfire. Nothing will be provided but a beautiful beach, a bonfire and, hopefully, a full moon.  

People ask if the bonfire will be held if it’s rainy…. the bonfire will be cancelled if it is raining or rain is threatening as few would be comfortable attending. The bonfire will also be canceled if the temperature is forecast to be below 40 degrees.

By terms of the permit, the fire needs to be out no later than 10 pm. The sunset and moonrise times still pose a challenge for scheduling dinner but do give us plenty of time to enjoy the evening.  

Other night sky observation opportunities:
-The International Space Station Flyover is 6:01 am so we can’t watch it during our bonfire.
-The next meteor showers aren’t until mid-April. 
-The next SpaceX evening launch is March 11 at 8:36 pm. 
-No special planet viewing could be found.

Put these dates for the Full Moon Bonfires on your calendar: 
Thursday, April 6
Friday, May 5 (yes, Cinco de Mayo)
Saturday, June 3

There’s always plenty of room on the beach for everyone, so invite a friend or your house guests. 

How the Full Moon Got Its Name

Per The Old Farmers Almanac:
March: Full Worm Moon – Traditionally thought to be named after the earthworms of warming spring soil. Alternatively, in the late 1700s, Jonathan Carver wrote that this Moon actually refers to a different sort of “worm”—larvae—which emerge from the bark of trees and other winter hideouts around this time. Other names:  
• Crow Comes Back Moon (Northern Ojibwe)
• Eagle Moon (Cree)
• Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree)
• Snow Crust Moon (Anishinaabe)
•Sore Eyes Moon (Dakota, Lakota, Assiniboine)
• Sugar Moon (Ojibwe)
• Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo)

I found another website that also says the Cherokee Indians called it the Windy Moon and the English Medieval name was the Chaste Moon.  

Another website says the Chinese call it Sleepy Moon.  

Almanac.com also provided these fun facts:
“March” is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. This was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter. 
In the early Roman calendar, March (or Martius) was the first month of the calendar year. As March brought the first day of spring with the vernal equinox, it was the start of new beginnings.
March became the third month when January and February, which were added to the end of the Roman calendar around 700 BCE, instead became the first and second months around 450 BCE.

-Submitted by Judy Morr

Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol Prepares for the 2023 Season

The mission of the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol (The Turtle Patrol) is to recruit, train, and organize volunteers in a collective effort to monitor, preserve, protect, and facilitate the propagation of sea turtles on Seabrook Island. This is accomplished through identification and protection of nests, inventory of nests, data collection, and education of island residents and visitors.

Kick-off Meeting for 2023
Thursday, March 30, 6:00 pm
The Lake House

At this meeting, new members will learn what turtle patrol does and will have the opportunity to sign up for beach walking and other assignments and order patrol tee shirts. These tee shirts are mandatory to wear when working with The Turtle Patrol.

New Members: If you are new to turtle patrol and want to join this year, register each person by clicking on the Add Your Name to Volunteer List button found here.

Existing Members: If you were a 2022 member, an email with ordering and sign-up details has been sent to you.

More information on various volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Questions? Email us at Hello@SITurtlePatrol.com

-Submitted by Jane Magioncalda

SI Dolphin Education Program

The Seabrook Island Dolphin Education Program is a field-based program designed to engage and educate beachgoers while reducing human disturbances to the local dolphin population. Under contract with the Town of Seabrook Island, the program is managed by the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network under the direction of Lauren Rust and relies on the support of citizen volunteers. Educators are present at Captain Sams Inlet each day during the peak tourist season to interact with beachgoers and collect valuable data about strand-feeding activities. Many Seabrookers volunteer in this program at North Beach near Captain Sams Spit greeting beachgoers with a smile to share important information about how each one of us can help protect our local dolphin population (Jaws, Koko, Hook, and High Scoops, to name a few).

Each year Charleston City Paper provides the opportunity for people to vote for the Best of Charleston. This year the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN), has been nominated in two categories: Best Local Cause and Best Do-Gooder/Activist for Lauren Rust, Executive Director. If you wish to show appreciation for this valuable resource and its volunteers, you can cast your vote. Voting is open until March 8. To vote for LMMN, click here. To vote for Lauren Rust, click here.

Harassing or disturbing strand-feeding dolphins not only threatens the continued occurrence of this rare behavior, it’s also a violation of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. For guidelines on how to view dolphins from the beach or watercraft, click here

Residents who are interested in volunteering with the Town of Seabrook Island’s Dolphin Education program may click here to download the Dolphin Education Program Volunteer Application form.

​​For more information, please contact LMMN by email at info@lmmn.org or by phone at (843) 991-6953.

Tidelines Editors

SI Garden Club Learns All About Oysters

The February meeting of the Seabrook Island Garden Club featured an informative program on oyster farming by Maddi Piascik, Immersive Marketing Specialist for the Barrier Island Oyster Company. Originally from Richmond, VA, Maddi is an alumna of the University of South Carolina where she majored in Communications and Public Relations. Her extensive travels and work with various conservation efforts lead her back to South Carolina to work with a company that utilizes sustainable fishing practices.

The Barrier Island Oyster Company was founded in 2015 by Josh Eboch and Kendra Tidwell who were interested in developing a way to farm superior oysters. While oyster farming was being done in parts of the Northeast, the founders were interested in bringing the process to the South. The Barrier Island Oyster Company was the first oyster farm established in the Charleston area. Their farm is located in the Ocella Creek off the North Edisto River and is two miles from the ocean.

The process of farming oysters is fairly labor intensive. The entire process takes approximately a year and a half from seed to plate. The company currently purchases oyster seeds from Georgia but are in the process of developing their own local seeds. The oysters are grown in floating cages, and each oyster must be cleaned, chipped, and sorted before being sent to market. Approximately 95% of all oysters are farm raised and 5% are wild caught. Farming allows oysters to be produced year round, and the local habitats largely determine the flavor of the oysters. Currently the Barrier Island Oyster Company sells oysters to many of the local restaurants but individuals can purchase Sea Clouds at Whole Foods Market.

Not only are oysters good for you but they significantly impact the overall health of the ecosystem. From a consumption point of view, oysters are rich in B-12, iron, selenium, B-6, copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D. From an ecological perspective, oyster farms protect against coastal erosion and improve water quality by absorbing excess carbon and nitrogen from the water. One oyster can filter up to 40 gallons of water per day.

Maddi concluded by inviting the group to schedule a tour and waterfront oyster tasting. Her contact information is maddi@barrierislandoysters.com.

Upcoming Garden Club events include a February field trip to Hyams Garden and Accent Store to learn about succulents and an April trip to the Charleston Tea Garden.

-Submitted by Susan McLaughlin, Seabrook Island Garden Club

(Image credits: Susan McLaughlin)

Reminder: Why You Should Volunteer for Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards

If you missed our post from February 9, 2023 about why you should volunteer for Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards, please click here . If you would like a Seabrooker’s first hand perspective and experience about volunteering as a Shorebird Steward, please read the article here.

Interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward? Please click here to register for a training program to be held on February 24, 2023, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Oyster Catcher Community Center.

If you have questions about our program, please email: sibstewards@gmail.com.

-Submitted by Bob Mercer and Mark Andrews, Co-chairs, Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards

(Image credit: SIB)

Animals, Art, and Exploration February 25

The Gibbes Museum of Art is excited to announce a full day of animals, art and engaging activities for the whole family that is free and open to the public on Saturday, February 25. Animal Adventures Family Day, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art, will offer something for everyone, including animal pose yoga, art making, a photo booth, bunny cuddles and more.

Event Schedule

  • Animal Pose Yoga, 10:30 – 11 am and 12 noon – 12:30 pm
  • Family Storytime with the Charleston County Public Library, 11 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 1:00 pm
  • Drop-in art activity with Janellify, 11:30 am – 12 noon and 1:00 – 1:30 pm
  • Photo booth and face painting, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
  • Garden exhibition booths and animal encounters with event partners, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Traditional Folk Tales with Minerva King, 2:00 – 2:30 pm
  • Fern Gully film screening, 3:15 – 4:45 pm

Food and Snacks

The Riverdogs Food Truck will be onsite from 11 am – 2:00 pm selling delicious ballpark treats and Independent Grounds will be onsite from 1:00 – 3:00 pm with a hot chocolate bar and sweet pick-me-ups.

Low Stimulation Room

The Gibbes is offering a low-stimulation room for Animal Adventure Day with minimal sounds, lowered lights and comfortable seating. This room will be located on the first floor of the museum and will be available to all patrons of the event. Please contact Becca Hiester with any questions regarding accessibility and inclusion for this event at rhiester@gibbesmuseum.org.

-Submitted by The Gibbes Museum

(Image credit: gibbesmuseum.org)

Why You Should Volunteer for Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards

Since the program began two years ago, the Seabrook Island Shorebird Steward Program has shared its shorebird conservation message with over 1,500 beachgoers. Now, with the third season set to start in March, the program needs volunteers. Shorebird stewards focus on educating residents and visitors about birds like Red Knots and the remarkable habitat of Seabrook Island as a resting and nesting location for several shorebird species. 

Seabrook and Kiawah Islands provide a critical stopover on a shorebird’s journey of survival. Recent studies show shocking declines in all shorebird species, especially Red Knots. With a few exceptions, shorebirds travel some of the longest migrations of any birds to get to their nesting grounds in the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic. Long migrations mean increased vulnerability at each stopover site. The weight that birds gain here is essential to provide energy for the long trip north and to cover any lag in the food supply in the harsh conditions they might face once they arrive at their nesting grounds. 

“Why do we need stewards?” Every year new people come to the beach to see dolphins or turtles but don’t know the shorebird story. In 2022, 66% of the people who stopped by the Shorebird Steward Station were visitors to Seabrook Island. Stewards ask beachgoers to respect the shorebirds as they are feeding in the surf or resting at the inlet by not approaching the birds too closely and by walking around them. The message: “Share the Beach-Give The Birds Space.”

Shorebird stewards are your neighbors, people like you, who love nature. All a volunteer needs is a willingness to share some time on the beach chatting with people who stop by the station. Please don’t let any concern about learning a bit about shorebird identification stop you from applying – Stewards educate people about ways to reduce human impact on birds, not bird identification! 

We schedule stewards in two-hour time slots usually from 10 am -12 pm and 12 pm-2 pm each day from March 1 thru the end of May or until the nesting season finishes. Our website allows you to self-schedule your shifts and makes it very easy to complete a report of your experience after each shift. Being a steward also offers opportunities to participate in shorebird conservation and research activities when we support SCDNR & USFWS in their work.

If you are interested in becoming a Shorebird Steward, please register for a training program to be held on February 24, 2023, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Oyster Catcher Community Center. The training, provided by Allyssa Zebrowski, SC Audubon and local Seabrook Island resident Bob Mercer, focuses on the essentials for becoming a Shorebird Steward from learning about shorebird identification, behavior and conservation, to the special habitat our beach provides, and to understanding how to best teach others. We will have other times available if you cannot make the February 24 program. After the classroom training, we provide field training opportunities to familiarize stewards with our equipment and educational materials. To help get you started, your first steward sessions on the beach will be with an experienced mentor. 

If you have questions about our program, please email: sibstewards@gmail.com

If you would like to register for the February 24 training session, please click here.

-Submitted by Bob Mercer and Mark Andrews, Co-chairs, Seabrook Island Shorebird Stewards

(Image credit: SIB)