Goin’ with the Flow!

Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to participate in a kayak trip along the Intracoastal Waterway behind Fort Moultrie.  I thought it was fantastic that my job for the day was simply to paddle along. That’s something I can definitely get used to!  It was a really exciting trip to be a part of because I was able to see a variety of wildlife that was different from what I would normally encounter walking around the fort, mainly because of the location and the time we went out. We saw a multitude of fish, birds, and even a few people out in the marshes! 

On our paddle trip, I got to see the backside of Sullivan’s Island and learn a bit more about the general facts of the area. I discovered that here in Charleston we have a resident dolphin population that is learning how to ‘beg’ for food. The dolphins do so because they are regularly fed by tourists. This affects their desire to hunt, and leaves them susceptible to being injured. Mother dolphins do not teach their young to search for food themselves because these ‘easy’ meals seem indefinitely attainable, which becomes detrimental to their health and well-being. Additionally, because the dolphins are now accustomed to approaching humans for their food, they risk being hit by propellers on boats, or getting stuck in fishing nets and lines. 

I learned that it is really important to educate on the subject of behaviors to be followed around wildlife for their well-being and ours. Sometimes steps to be taken in these kinds of situations can be confusing or unclear, as we may think we are helping the animal when really we are hurting it and causing ecological damage. I was really moved by the impact that we collectively have on our ecosystems, and I hope to help in the education process to positively impact our environment. 

One of my goals for this summer is to help plan a ranger led program on the different animals that inhabit the general Charleston area for Latino Conservation Week, and my kayaking experience was definitely a catalyst for some great ideas. 

Keep checking in for updates on where my project ideas will go!

Hasta la proxima!

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