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Wildlife in our Waterways

One of the most incredible ways to experience Charleston, SC Lowcountry is by water- and that includes some amazing encounters with our natural neighbors. Based right in our backyard at the Isle of Palms Marina, our friends at Barrier Island Eco Tours are local experts navigating our waterways. Read on to see what Shane Ziegler, owner of Barrier Island Eco Tours, has to say from 20+ years of experience with wildlife in our waterways.

WDR: What kinds of wildlife are most commonly spotted on Barrier Island Eco Tours- in the water and on land? 
Shane: Bottlenose Dolphin, a wide variety of shore birds and wading birds, osprey, blue crabs, stone crabs, and more!

WDR: What is the most surprising creature you’ve encountered, and how would you describe the experience? 
Shane: We have had an octopus a few times when we pull our crab traps.  Amazing creatures. When we briefly placed it in our onboard touch tank with a few shells, it changed its color and texture to blend in. Every summer we see a few manatees as well!
WDR: How do these encounters vary seasonally?
Shane: It is usually in the fall when we see octopi.
WDR: How can we help keep local wildlife safe while we enjoy the waterways?  
Shane: Be careful with plastics and litter. Slow down when dolphins are close, and keep a distance.  Do not chase dolphins with boats.  Keep distance from birds, so as not to scare them off where they are roosting or fishing.

With a full line-up of group and private, naturalist-led boat tours perfect for all ages, a Barrier Island Eco Tour is a “must” when planning your memorable Isle of Palms beach vacation!



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