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Nature Tours

If you are looking for an educational field trip your students will never forget, you must give Barrier Island eco tours a call. Our school programs are aligned with the South Carolina Curriculum Science Standard.

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Nature Tours

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  1. Barrier Island Eco Tours 50 41st Avenue Isle of Palms, SC 29451 843.886.5000 http://nature-tours.com

  2. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • In the winter of 1997 three high school buddies, Shane Ziegler, Jose Hernandez, and Max Sparwasser, were roasting oysters over a cedar fire on Capers Island when the three of them came up with the idea of forming Barrier Island Eco Tours. • The 23 year olds had spent much of their youth boating the tidal creeks of the Charleston area fishing, shrimping, crabbing, and exploring the undeveloped barrier islands. They felt that visitors to Charleston were missing out on the best part of the lowcountry, its undeveloped barrier islands and back creek salt marshes.

  3. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • In the summer of 1997, after receiving permission from the SCDNR to take visitors to Capers Island, Hernandez and Ziegler began business taking educational nature tours to Capers on a 6 passenger boat. • In 1998 they bought the Callinectes, a Coast Guard Certified 40 passenger tour boat. • Two years later they added a 23 ft. fishing boat for inshore fishing charters. • Two years after that, a 16 passenger skiff outfitted for smaller customized eco-tours, kayaking, and fishing excursions was added to the fleet. In 2006, Ziegler bought out Hernandez’s share of the business and added a 22 passenger pontoon which he leases from his head naturalist, Robert Hopkins.

  4. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  5. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  6. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  7. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  8. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  9. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  10. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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 Charleston’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.

  11. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • While working with the company, Morgan and her dog Emma, also fell in love with Barrier Island Eco Tour’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.

  12. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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.

  13. Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 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!

  14. Nature Tours • Contact Information • Barrier Island Eco-Tours • 50 41st Avenue • Isle of Palms, SC 29451 • 843.886.5000 • http://nature-tours.com

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