Barrier Island Eco Tours 50 41st Avenue Isle of Palms, SC 29451 843.886.5000 http://nature-tours.com
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"A special thanks to Shane Ziegler of Barrier Island Eco Tours, Isle of Palms, for sharing his invaluable insights and vast knowledge about the Lowcountry, its wildlife and ecosystem. And the tours are fabulous!"
-Mary Alice Monroe, Author of The Beach House
Barrier Island Ecotours is hands down worth a trip to Charleston to experience. The sights of the salt marsh and all it has to offer is worth every penny. Where else can you experience up close and personally all the marine and terrestrial wildlife the estuaries and capers island has to offer? From dolphins, crabs, deer, allligators, abundant fish, you will have a blast being entertained by the outdoors. Every trip is a surprise because you don't know what you will encounter. If you want peace and relaxation at the same time of excitement these are the trips for you and your family and friends of any ages. Ask the naturalists and they will tell you the hot spots of where to go and what trips are best suited for your group.
As Charleston locals, my family has the incredible opportunity to go on a nature tour with Barrier Island Ecotours at least once a summer and often times, more! With their many options like crabbing trips, dolphin excursions, sunset cruises, etc., we always have a great time and it's never the same trip twice. The captains handle the boats with precision, and the naturalists have an incredible amount of knowledge and keep everyone entertained and laughing. And then there's the fishing charters! Our daughter LOVES fishing with Mr. Shane, and every time we've been out, she's caught enough fish to make her ask almost every day when we can go again. I highly recommend Barrier Island Ecotours for visitors and locals alike...
- Michael Schumpert
How to Lead Nature Walks
So your team picked you to be the leader on a simple (or high-level) nature walk and you have no idea what to do. I mean, you may know the trail or the general area but what does it need to give your group the nature walk they will never forget?
1. It helps to read up on the plants and animals that can be found locally along the trail. Everybody loves it when you can identify plants and animals just by looking.
2. Take a hike on the trail prior to the trip and notice any unusual things in the area. Are there things present along the trail that might interest your group?
3. Prior to the trip, check your group and assess their physical limitations. You might need to change some parts of the hike to accommodate different people.
4. Before the walk, take time to introduce yourself to your group. Hand out maps and relevant handouts to your group. Answer all relevant questions from your group regarding the hike. This is also a good time to point out comfort facilities and to suggest rest stops before you head off to your hike.
5. Take time to introduce members of the group to each other. This way, they will feel more comfortable with each other. 6. Ask your group what they would be more interested in viewing. Tailor your hike to their interests. If they are geared towards plants then be more specific in pointing out the flora in the area.
7. During the tour, don’t just “talk” to people. Ask questions and let them ask questions back. Let them engage and do not just passively guide them throughout the hike. 8. Don’t shy away from doing demonstrations during the hike. Always make sure you have their full attention every demonstration.
9. Always check your group and be wary of stragglers. The occasional head count will do wonders here.
10. Focus on the interests of kids if you have them in your group. They will be the ones more interested in the sights during the hike.
11. Leave No Trace. Teach your group the basic rule: Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures.
Shane Ziegler | Owner/Captain/Naturalist
Shane is originally from Atlanta and spent his summers vacationing with his family on the Isle of Palms. Pulling seine nets in the tidal creeks, crabbing, and fishing with his family in the salt marshes while they were on vacation sparked his deep interest for marine biology. Shane and his family moved to the Isle of Palms the summer before his freshman year at Wando High School. During his high school years on Isle of Palms, Shane spent the majority of his free time exploring the salt marsh, fishing, crabbing, shrimping, and roasting oysters with his friends on small hammock islands. Julie Cliff, his Marine Biology teacher at Wando, further inspired his passion in the marine world.
During his summer internship in 1995 while attending Clemson University, he worked in four different South Carolina State Parks including Hunting Island State Park. At Hunting Island he realized the naturalist position was exactly what he wanted to pursue as a career. After graduating Clemson with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Management, Shane began his career as a naturalist at Hunting Island as an assistant to Mike Walker, head naturalist at the park. Shane enjoyed working at Hunting Island for a year and a half performing sea turtle research and barrier island and salt marsh ecology programs for visitors and school groups. At the end of 1997 he left Hunting Island to pursue his own business, Barrier Island Eco Tours, with Jose Hernandez.
Shane now operates Barrier Island Eco Tours with his wife Morgan. They are able to run a small business and still find free time of their own for fishing, island exploring, or just relaxing on the house boat together with their dog Emma.
Morgan Ziegler | Sales Manager/Owner
Morgan grew up in Columbia, SC and visited the Carolina coast every year with her parents and grandparents. As a child and young adult, she was fascinated with the sea and the animals that lived in it. She loved swimming in the ocean and hunting for sharks teeth and shells with her Grandmother on the beach. Her passion for the marine world, and spending time in nature grew with her.
Morgan later attended Clemson University with a major in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Morgan chose Travel and Tourism as her emphasis area in PRTM, and became very interested in the growing trend of eco tourism around the world. She decided for her summer internship to pursue eco tourism in the Charleston area, and luckily acquired an internship with Barrier Island Eco Tours the summer before graduating from Clemson. She fell in love with the business and Charlestonâ€™s coast that summer, and decided to move to the area after graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science. She continued to work with Barrier Island Eco Tours in the summers, and began a career in event and wedding planning in downtown Charleston.
While working with the company, Morgan and her dog Emma, also fell in love with Barrier Island Eco Tourâ€™s owner Shane Ziegler. Morgan and Shane are now married, live in Mt. Pleasant, and are running the business together. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors, fishing, biking, boating and being with friends and family.
Princess Emma, Dolphin Pointer/Fishing Guide Emma was a lost puppy found on Hwy. 76 in Anderson, S.C. when she was just 3 months old. By luck and fate she found a home with Morgan who was attending Clemson University at the time. Emma and Morgan did a lot of hiking to waterfalls, mountain biking and camping in the upstate. Emma was very excited to move to Charleston with Morgan after leaving Clemson, and now lives in Mt. Pleasant with her Mom and Dad. She enjoys fishing with Shane (especially sharks); running on the beach, chasing squirrels, lots of treats and belly rubs. Princess Emma is the best Dolphin Pointer around and she would love to see you on a boat trip soon!
Charleston Fishing Guide
Isle of Palms Fishing Trips - The Best Charleston Fishing Charters We offer excellent inshore fishing opportunities year round to help you experience fishing in the Charleston at a whole new level.
Departing from the Isle of Palms Marina, within minutes you are in pristine salt marshes and tidal flats. The waters surrounding the Isle of Palms are one of the most productive areas along the east coast for redfish, speckled trout, flounder, shark and many others. Our salt marsh eco-system in Charleston creates a â€œnutrient rich soupâ€? which provides the basis of the food chain for many species of fish. In the warmer months it is possible to catch over 10 species during one outing. All necessary tackle, licenses and supplies are provided on every trip.
Our fleet consists of a 6 passenger 23 foot bay boat, a 3 passenger flats boat for shallow water fishing targeting redfish, and a 12 passenger 27 foot Carolina Skiff for larger groups. We work closely with several of the top guides that also run out of the Isle of Palms Marina and can put together groups of 50 or more. Our captains are well experienced, patient, friendly, and have a deep passion for what they do. We cater to those who want a relaxed fishing trip with plenty of action. Our guides take extra care with kids making sure they have the best experience possible. When taking a fishing charter with Barrier Island EcoTours, you get more than just a fishing trip. Our guides are also naturalists and while catching fish, you will also gain knowledge about the dynamics of the salt marsh.
Contact Information Barrier Island Eco-Tours 50 41st Avenue Isle of Palms, SC 29451 843.886.5000
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