ContactSite MapSearchNews
Inside Sea GrantResearchExtensionEducationFundingProductsEvents

SC Sea Grant Consortium
287 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
p: 843.953.2078
f: 843.953.2080
Curriculum Connection – Winter 2003-04
logo for curriculum connections
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 2003-04 issue: A Line in the Sand: Nourishing South Carolina's Beaches

A Line in the Sand: Nourishing South Carolina's Beaches” is the lead article for Winter 2003. Create an inquiry lesson based on the article and following recommendations:

• Lead a discussion about the following terms: erosion, nor’easter, seawall, beach nourishment, jetties, groin, and accretion.

• Have students read the article, “A Line in the Sand: Nourishing South Carolina's Beaches,” from the Winter 2003 issue of Coastal Heritage. Split the class into two different groups – (1) promoting beach nourishment and (2) against beach nourishment. Allow students time to discuss their points of view, then have a spokesperson from each side present the view to the class. Prompt students with questions based on quotes from the article. Would the beach really disappear if Edisto Beach were not nourished? Who should pay for nourishment? What will happen to beaches around the world if global warming causes sea level to rise? (Note: You may need to assign specific roles to each student. You may choose these roles from the article, for example, someone could be Ms. James, or you may use generic assignments – beachfront homeowner, inland taxpayer, etc.)
High School Science: IIIA4c; Middle School Science 7th grade IIA7f, IIIA5a

• Have each student write a persuasive paper explaining his/her opinion on beach nourishment. Is it necessary? Who should pay for beach nourishment? Should homeowners rebuild on a lot where erosion has been a problem in the past? This does not necessarily need to be the position he/she defended in the debate.
High School Science: IIIA4c;
Middle School Science 7th grade IIA7f, IIIA5a

• Have your students read the Charleston Post and Courier article, “Dredging Project to add sand to Folly Beach Park,” Why do residents of Kiawah Island disapprove of the groin project? Do you feel their concerns are justified? Why or why not? How do these projects affect nearby populations of brown pelicans? Do you think it is important to perform beach nourishments prior to holidays such as July 4? Why or why not? Compare and contrast the situations on Folly Beach and Edisto Beach.
High School Science: IIIA4c;
Middle School Science 7th grade IIA7f, IIIA5a

• Have students read the Charleston Post and Courier article, “Sullivan’s Hires Consultant To Help with Beach Tree Plan,” Ask the students to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining a buffer of natural vegetation between home sites and the ocean. Relate this situation to Edisto Beach and the Folly Beach article above.
High School Science: IIIA4c;
Middle School Science 7th grade IIA7f, IIIA5a

Assessment Opportunity
Have students research the nourishment history of a particular beach – for example, Edisto Island or Folly Beach – and create a display of that history. The student should include who paid for the nourishment, who benefited, who supported the nourishment and who did not, and if there are future plans for nourishment of the beach.

Special thanks to Dr. Lundie Spence of the Southeast Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence for her assistance in compiling this guide.

NOAA   SC Sea Grant Consortium

For further information contact Elizabeth Joyner
or (843) 953-2078

Beach Erosion Resources
Lesson Plans
Shell Island Dilemma in Wilmington, North Carolina Through this activity students investigate the issues concerning the fate of the Shell Island Resort structure (being threatened by a migratory inlet) and then debate the future of this and other oceanfront structures..

Explore Folly Island: an educational product for exploring coastal geology This educational website was created based on the idea that an in-depth understanding of the dynamic processes governing the S.C. coast, specifically the evolution of barrier islands, is crucial for making sound decisions concerning this precious environment. The educational guide focuses on Folly Island, a well-populated barrier island with an ever-changing coastline. This island is presented as a model to represent the marine and coastal processes involved in the creation and destruction of S.C. barrier islands.

Louisiana Coastal Erosion and Beach Erosion Investigation The idea for this activity came from Earth Science Source Book Phase II: A Guide to Earth Science Activities and Resources (Columbia: Center for Science Education, University of South Carolina). It is a classroom activity and has been very effective in introducing the topic of beach erosion and serving as a springboard for the development of exercises related to coastal loss.

Q&A On Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in South Carolina

An Educators Guide to Folly Beach This site was designed to offer basic information on South Carolina's barrier islands for both educators and non-educators alike. It offers background content and images for educators to use in teaching coastal marine science. Most of the information contained in the guide is general and can be applied to many local barrier island. However, the sections on history and erosion are more specific to Folly Beach.

Coastal Erosion: Where’s the Beach? This website contains background information on and examples of coastal erosion. You will also find an example of a data exercise for students.

The Dune Book by Spencer Rogers and David Nash, 2003.
This book features the best dune management practices along developed shorelines, as well as in-depth information about various types of erosion. To order, call (919) 515-2454 or write “North Carolina Sea Grant, NC State Box 8605, Raleigh, NC 27695-8605 and ask for UNC-SG-03-03. Cost is $5.

Of Sand and Sea: Teaching From the Southeastern Shoreline by Paula Keener-Chavis and Leslie Sautter, 2002.
This is a great introductory text for students. The book answers questions about the ocean’s geology, biology and chemistry. Available from SC Sea Grant for $7. Call (843) 953-2078.

Field Trips
Local Beach
Plan a field trip to a local beach and have students participate in a beach profiling exercise. The unit of activities, “The Ever-Changing Beach”, can be accessed at This unit provides pre-site, on-site and post-site activities that lead students through an exploration of the beach.

Coastal Discovery Museum
The Coastal Discovery Museum offers a Beach Community Field Study for middle and high school. Students will establish a transect line through the dunes and use quadrat sampling to identify and quantify the flora and fauna along the transect and then discuss their findings. Students also measure the speed of the long shore current by timing how long it takes a tennis ball to travel 100 feet and participate in an interactive activity that shows how the natural movement of sand is from North to South and what happens when a groin is constructed. Visit or call Kim Washok for information 843-689-6767 x226.


Don't miss your FREE Flowing Oceans poster made available by COSEE-SE and SEACOOS. Email Carolyn Robinson at or call 843.953.2078 for your copy. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Coastal Heritage is a quarterly publication of the South Carolina Sea Grant. Each issue focuses on coastal resources relevant to the lives of South Carolina citizens.

You can access the latest Web version at: Subscriptions to Coastal Heritage are free upon request; simply send an email to or call 843.953.2078.

For further information call (843) 953-2078

Last updated: 3/17/2008 3:52:15 PM
Curriculum Connection – Winter 2003-04


Page Tools Print this page
E-mail this page
Bookmark this page

Coastal Science Serving South Carolina
Copyright © 2001-2018 South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
Turbulent Flow Image Courtesy of Prof. Haris J. Catrakis, University of California, Irvine
Privacy & Accessibility