The experience begins when we board our covered pontoon ferry for the 30-minute ride to Bulls Island. As we travel through the estuary, your naturalist will talk about the natural and human history of the area and explain the dynamics of this super-diversified ecosystem. We will examine live marine specimens and discuss the numerous creatures that make the estuary the “nursery of the sea.” Once on the island, our programming continues, offering several different options.
Each Island Quest adventure is tailored to the class, ensuring that the curriculum is challenging and fun. Students will gain a better understading of marine science, barrier island development, maritime forest and beach ecosystems and natural connections.
The history of Bulls Island has great depth and includes pirates, Civil War blockade runners, Sewee Indians and the original landing spot of the shipCarolina on its way to Charlestown Landing. There is an old tabby fort foundation, oyster middons and the Magwood graveyard serving as markers of the island's history.
Once the ferry docks and your class enters the maritime forest, the adventure begins. Along the way to the freshwater impoundments on the island interior, your naturalist-guide will show your students shell mounds left by Native Americans, identify birds flying overhead and point out trees and plants with medicinal uses like Black Willow and Toothache Tree (and give them a chance to try a piece of this numbing leaf!).
Along the way to the pristine seven-mile beachfront, your guide will point out animal tracks and insects, describe the history of Bulls Island, and talk about the ecological importance of maritime forest and freshwater impoundments for migratory waterfowl.
The beach exploration includes activities such as searching for shore creatures and identifying shells (living and vacated), discussing geological beach dynamics and tidal cycles, and examining adaptations used by the shoreline animals in the transitional beach ecosystem.
Be prepared to learn, have fun, and get your hands sandy on this half-day exploration of Bulls Island.