Growing up in coastal South Carolina, Hayley Fournier spent a great amount of time at Hobcaw Barony. She graduated from Horry-Georgetown Technical College with a degree in Forestry Management/Wildlife Management and served as an intern with the SCDNR at Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center. Hayley began working at Myrtle Beach State Park as an assistant interpretive park ranger and is now an education specialist for North Inlet – Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
“Between Pawleys Island and Georgetown, S.C. there is a hidden gem full of life,” says Fournier. You might have passed by Hobcaw Barony and asked, ‘I wonder what goes on there?’ A lot, actually. One unique entity is the North Inlet – Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The North Inlet – Winyah Bay NERR is one of twenty-nine reserves in the world. They are home to the third largest estuary on the East Coast. NERR is dedicated to research, stewardship and education.”
The NERR educational programs are geared to all ages, and a majority of the programs are free. Fournier says that NERR is a place to have fun and become a scientist for the day! North Inlet – Winyah Bay NERR is devoted to educating the public about local impacts, salt marsh ecosystems, getting you outside and connected with nature.
“Although Hobcaw Barony is gated, there are plenty of opportunities to see the land,” says Fournier. “One way you can see the property is through NERR’s programs. We offer marsh walks and a tour of our Baruch Marine Field Lab. We even offer kayak trips in North Inlet.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.