First Ocean Friendly Garden in SC

Ocean Friendly GardensThe Grice Green Teaching Garden puts College of Charleston on the map as home to the first Ocean Friendly Garden in South Carolina. Ocean Friendly Gardens is a national program sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation. It teaches CPR (Conservation, Permeability, and Retention) for landscaping in an effort to prevent storm water runoff from entering the local watersheds. Urban runoff from lawns and hard surfaces is the #1 source of ocean pollution. By using the three important concepts of CPR, we can prevent bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, and other harmful pollutants from entering into the ocean. Sharleen Johnson, the MBGSA Green Garden Outreach Coordinator, and Kim Counts of Carolina Clear spearheaded this effort. Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium also donated signs identifying the native plant species in the garden.

 

 

 

Coral Display

Coral Tanks

The Woodley Lab, located at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR) donated a collection of hard and soft corals for display. Carl Miller provided a variety of different types including mushroom corals that are often referred to as false anemones. All of the corals are in a miniature display tank in the main office, and are fed shrimp on a weekly basis. See the chart below for details.

Scientific NameDescription
Pocillopora damicornissmall, bushy and pink
Seriatopora hystrixsmall green/yellow/brown branching
Stylophora pistillata bright pink, branching
Fungia sp."Disc" corals

Green Garden Fall Workday

The Marine Biology Graduate students gathered at Grice last weekend for a successful garden workday of planting and garden maintenance.  Although the weather was a little overcast, a lot was accomplished. Projects that took place included planting sweetgrass around the cistern and dune sunflowers around the front sign. The sweetgrass plants were donated by Kim Counts of Carolina Clear. Paty Cowden, the College’s Supervisor of Grounds, donated the dunes sunflowers. Our Green Garden Coordinator, Sharleen Johnson, germinated the seedlings  romaine lettuce and komatsuna for planting in the vegetable bed. After harvesting the existing the sweet potatoes, the group also emptied the compost tumbler  and used this to amend the soil. They planted purple coneflower and brown-eyed susans in the perennial flower bed and replaced the turf grass with fogfruit, a ground  that provides nectar and larval food source for butterflies.

Dash for Trash

Students from College of Charleston went on a mission to pick up trash for the 11th Annual Dash for Trash, starting at Liberty Square on October 19th.  Most things picked up were cigarette butts, but among other items were old lighting, a broken surfboard, and broken children’s toys in a two hour period.  All items collected were worth “points”, and the team with the most points received gift cards and/or movie tickets.  This is a great annual even to help keep Charleston beautiful.

Sargassumfish Joins CORAL Program

histrio-histrio-fish

A Sargassumfish joins the CORAL (Community OutReach And Learning) program. Histro histrio is a frogfish of the family Antennariidae.  It unique look and prehensile pectoral fins help it hide and cling to sargassum seaweed. This fish is also called the Angler fish. Evolution has modified it’s front spine  to a thin growth on the upper lip called the illicium that is tipped with a fleshy bulb known as the esca. This morphological adaptation is used to lure and ambush  it’s unsuspecting prey.  This creature can change colors rapidly and can consume animals larger that itself. For this reason, our new friend, Fred, will have it own accommodations in the main office.

C.O.R.A.L. Participates in Earth Day Festival

On April 17, 2010 the Grice Marine Laboratory’s Community Outreach Research and Learning program (C.O.R.A.L.) participated in the Charleston County Earth Day Festival. The celebration took place at Park Circle in North Charleston on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Pete Meier, accompanied by five graduate students, set up a touch tank with various marine organisms from Charleston Harbor. The festival brought in thousands of participants eager to experience Charleston’s marine life hands-on with the Grice Marine Laboratory.

James Simmons Elementary Partcipates in CORAL

webJames Simmons Tour 016On January 16th, a group of 12 students from James Simmons Elementary School visited Fort Johnson and participated in the Grice Marine Lab’s CORAL (Community Outreach Research And Learning) program. It was a morning full of marine science education and fun. The students started at the bottom of the marine food chain by examining various plankton and invertebrates through microscopes. Moving up the chain, they watched as the fish in the display aquarium were fed grass shrimp. At the top of the food chain, they viewed a scorpion fish and a hammerhead shark from the Grice Collection. Our collection has about 350,000 specimens of fish and invertebrates used for teaching and research. The Grice tour finished with a touch tank experience in our wet lab.

In a collaborative outreach effort with the SC Department of Natural Resources, the students visited the Marine Resource Resources Institute (MRRI) with Dave Wyanski. In his tour of the MRRI lab, he discussed his work with the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) Program. This project works with NOAA to conduct biological surveys and assessments used to evaluate the size, abundance and life history of reef fishes. The program has conducted ichthyoplankton surveys and trawl-based bottofish surveys in the past.

On Thursday, January 21st, CORAL also participated in the first annual Science Night on location at the James Simmons school. Our touch tank gives students the opportunity to interact directly with marine organisms. It creates a platform for education about marine life and provides discussion opportunities about the ocean and how it affects human health.

Upward Bound Outreach

On Wednesday June 24, 2009 the Upward Bound students came to the Grice Marine Laboratory to learn about the career field of marine science. Students were able to tour the historic site of Fort Johnson, talk with undergraduate and graduate students in the marine biology program, view marine life under microscopes, and get hands on experience with the GML’s touch tank filled with live marine life from Charleston Harbor. The Grice Marine Laboratory staff hope to inspire the Upward Bound students to make marine science a future career choice.