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Carolina Coastal wildlife 

In the process of writing the story of Engel I learned so much about the beauty and complexity of the Carolina Coastline. I know I have just touched the surface, and I plan to keep adding to my understanding. So let me introduce you to my favorite guide to this amazing place. Peter Meyer has been my expert companion on this journey and I can't thank him enough for taking the time to write his book, Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast. I encourage you to read this book especially if you live here. Take it with you to the beach to identify the birds, shells or whatever else washes up on the beach. Learn about the difference between life on the lower marsh and the upper marsh. Discover the mysteries of the maritime forests and the constant shapeshifting of the barrier islands. 

Among South Carolina’s major barrier islands (from north to south) are Waites, Pawleys, Debordieu, North, South, Cedar, Murphy, Dewees, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s, Morris, Folly, Kiawah, Seabrook, Botany, Harbor, Hunting, Fripp, Hilton Head, and Daufuskie. Barrier islands tend to possess an elongated shape. In general, the northern end is longer than the southern end, which is constantly affected by erosion. While varying in size and shape, all barrier islands generally share certain characteristics. Each is shaped by ocean surfs, which constantly shift and erode their beaches. Grassy dunes occupy the terrain immediately behind their beaches, while the interior of barrier islands is dominated by maritime forests and wetlands. Most barrier islands possess lee or bayside salt marshes that face the mainland. Besides protecting the coastlines, barrier islands provide crucial habitats for vital flora and fauna such as algae, sea oats and bitter pancum, sawgrass, crabs, offshore and inshore fish, snakes, deer, raccoons, opossums, sea turtles, and sea fowl. These salt marsh ecosystems also act as filters, purifying runoffs from inland waterways. Unlike the more stable inland Sea Islands, barrier islands–which border the ocean–are dynamic; their terrain is constantly changing.

                                                                                                                                       -South Carolina

Stay tuned to more read more about the coastal habitats and coastal ecology!'s%20major%20barrier,%2C%20Hilton%20Head%2C%20and%20Daufuskie.

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