The Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island is pleased to announce that it will host “Life on the May River,” from February 23rd until May 5th.  Highlighted in this exhibit will be artistic works focusing upon the natural and cultural importance and beauty of the May River, its bluffs and its residents – both animal and  human. Forty-five artists were juried into the show by Holly Koons-McCullough, curator of Fine Arts and Exhibits at the Telfair Museum.  The exhibit will be in the Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Temporary Gallery at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.

    This exhibit will be complemented with scientific and historic information about the May River, its watershed and the many efforts to protect it.  Several organizations are joining the efforts to share this story.  Friends of the Rivers, the Lowcountry Estuarium, the Lowcountry Institute, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (Oyster Recycling project), the Town of Bluffton (Natural Resources Department) and the Heyward House Historic Center have all committed to share a bit of their expertise to complete the story. 
    The Museum at Honey Horn is open 9-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 11 – 3 p.m.  For further information, please contact the Museum at 843-689-3033.

    The following programs will be held at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn to coincide with the “Life on the May River” exhibit which opens February 23rd.  All programs are complimentary, but due to limited seating, reservations are required by calling 843-689-3033 ext 221.
February 28th, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Nancy Hadley
Oysters – Key to the Health of our Estuaries
This talk will explain why oysters are important to our estuaries, how they are threatened by coastal development, and what we can do to give oysters a hand.  
    Ms. Nancy Hadley, a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, has 25 years of experience in shellfish research and management, including 15 years of work on oyster reef ecology and restoration.  She has been the project leader for SCDNR’s Community-Based Restoration Program (SCORE) since its inception in 2000.   She also has extensive aquaculture experience and heads up a pilot program to allow home-owners to grow oysters under their docks.

Thursday March 13th, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Dave Harter
Low Country Fishing- The unique fisheries of the sounds and rivers of Beaufort County and the Port Royal Sound Estuarine system”
 Dave Harter will present why our fisheries are like no other in North America, and why they need special protection.  Dave will also have tips on how and where to catch our most popular fish.
David Harter has been a Hilton Head Island resident for 29 years and is the president of the Hilton Head Island Sportfishing Club ( and VP and projects director for the Hilton Head Reef Foundation ( He is an advisory panel member for the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and a board member of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.  Dave is a licensed Coast Guard captain and an original member of the Beaufort County Clean Water Task Force.  Dave currently writes the fishing column for the Bluffton Today newspaper and is the board chairman for Friends of the Rivers

Wednesday March 26th, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Kim Jones
“How you affect water quality, best practices in your back yard”
The presentation will focus on the importance of storm-water runoff, including what it is and how it can negatively affect the environment. Additionally, we’ll discuss the role of the Town of Bluffton’s Storm-water Ordinance and, more importantly, the role each of us plays in managing the quantity and quality of runoff that occurs on our property.
Kimberly Jones has a Bachelor of Science degree from Gannon University in Erie, PA and a Master of Science degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA.  Her biological and ecological research experience has included working with bats in Pennsylvania, small mammals in Africa and sea turtles on Hilton Head Island.
Kimberly has lived in the Lowcountry since 1995. Upon first moving here, she worked for the SC Dept. of Natural Resources at the Waddell Mariculture Center.  In 1996, she joined the Coastal Discovery Museum as the Vice President of Science and coordinator of the Sea Turtle Protection Project. In 2004 Kimberly left the museum to join Palmetto Bluff Conservancy as the Science and Education Director.  At the beginning of April 2007, Kimberly joined the Town of Bluffton as the Natural Resources Manager with my primary responsibility being water quality monitoring and education.

Thursday April 3rd, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.- Dr. Al Segars.
Marine Mammals of the May River
This presentation will focus on the life history of the Bottle-nosed Dolphin and the West Indian Manatee found in the coastal waters of the east coast and the waters of the May River. The presentation will cover the impacts of human interactions on Dolphins and Manatees, as well as best ways to behave toward those animals.
Dr. Segars is a veterinarian specialized on aquatic marine animals. Dr Segars work Marine Resources Division at South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and as a researcher with the ACE Basin Estuarine Research Reserve.
Dr. Segars has a veterinary degree from UGA and BS in Forestry Recreation from Clemson University. Al has had a mixed animal practice for 14 years in Hartsville, SC. He moved to Beaufort, SC for the DNR position. He covers all marine/aquatic animals (fish kills, marine mammals, and sea turtles.).

Thursday April 10th, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bob Bender
What’s an Estuary ?
Program is a primer on the function and importance estuaries and explains why the Port Royal Sound estuarine system is unique among all others. Live creatures will also be on display.
Bob Bender – Lowcountry artist and naturalist founded the North Street Aquarium in Beaufort in 1992 and has been curator of the Lowcountry Estuarium in Port Royal since 2002.

Monday April 28th, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Maureen Richards
Bluffton’s History
An overview of Bluffton’s History, the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society and the Heyward House Historic Center.
Four authors of “The Guide to Historic Bluffton” (Ann Elliot, Donna Huffman, Mary Reeves, and Lucy Scardino) will sign books and answer questions.
     Maureen Richards is the Executive Director of the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society.
She started with BHPS as an intern in 2003 and became the Heyward House Historic Center Director in 2005.
    She holds a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Thursday May 1st, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. “What Makes the May River Unique?” 
Presentation by Dr. Chris Marsh, with the Port Royal Conservancy and LowCountry Institute.  Dr. Marsh will describe how the May River differs from other rivers in South Carolina, and what factors cause these differences.
    Dr. Chris Marsh has served as the Executive Director of the LowCountry Institute and the Spring Island Trust since 1998.  The Spring Island Trust is responsible for overseeing the environmental stewardship of Spring Island, a 3,000 acre residential nature park.  The LowCountry Institute is a 501c3 environmental non-profit organization with a mission that includes protecting the environment of the Lowcountry through effective partnerships, leadership and disseminating information to key decision makers.
     Prior to moving to the Lowcountry in June 1998, Dr. Marsh was a biology professor at Coastal Carolina University where he taught ornithology, ecology, and animal behavior.  While at Coastal Carolina he also served as a regional director of a statewide program to improve math and science education in South Carolina.  He has over 10 years of experience as an environmental consultant and has worked with the SC Department of Natural Resources on coastal shorebird populations.  He received his B.S. degree in Zoology from N.C. State and his Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University.