Late last year, South Carolina Aquarium staff members were treated to a kayak excursion like no other. On a crisp fall afternoon, we dressed in our warmest waterproof gear and launched a fleet of kayaks into Shem Creek with Coastal Expeditions. The trip wasn’t just for fun, though—together, both organizations conducted a litter sweep to celebrate our newly-formed partnership.
The South Carolina Aquarium has partnered with Coastal Expeditions to provide our guests and members with more opportunities to connect to wildlife and explore wild places. Since 1992, Coastal Expeditions has focused on taking people to beautiful places to experience the natural world. The partnership will create new offerings that allow participants to connect the Aquarium experience to some of South Carolina’s most captivating areas. Being that Charleston is a water town, these places are best reached by kayak, canoe or powerboat.
“This partnership will provide our guests and members with a powerful new way to go deeper in understanding and exploring our natural world,” said Kevin Mills, South Carolina Aquarium president and CEO. “They will learn how to protect what we love, and even participate in vital citizen science.”
The Aquarium and Coastal Expeditions will offer a series of conservation-themed collaborative events available to both the public and Aquarium members. After enjoying a day at the Aquarium or adventuring with Coastal Expeditions, guests will receive a discount to continue their experience at the other partner location. Additionally, Coastal Expeditions will create programming in tandem with Aquarium promotions, such as World Turtle Day and Shark Week.
Many of these joint offerings will feature litter and marine debris service projects that incorporate the South Carolina Aquarium Citizen Science app. Participants of the kayak tour will collect trash and debris, then log each item in the SCA Citizen Science app’s Litter-free Digital Journal. The found items then become part of an open-source data network that can be accessed by any researcher to assess community impact.
“Coastal Expeditions could not be more excited about moving into this new phase of our relationship with the South Carolina Aquarium. This partnership just makes so much sense for our community and our shared client. From service projects and cutting-edge citizen science apps to boutique adventures into the wild places only accessible by water, this union of missions is one of the most exciting collaborations to happen in Charleston in years.” said Chris Crolley, CEO of Coastal Expeditions.
A low-tide dolphin kayak tour is scheduled for April 14, from noon to 3 p.m., with special member pricing of $52 per member adult and $37 per member child. Low tide is the best time to find bottlenose dolphins in the estuary, and Coastal Expeditions guides know exactly where to find them. Reservations are required; members can email [email protected] or call 843-884-7684 to reserve.
Additional excursions will be announced throughout the year. Visit our blog and follow the Aquarium and Coastal Expeditions on social media for the latest updates.