CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Students from Sanders Clyde Elementary School on Thursday took a boat ride around Shem Creek and learned about birds of prey as part of a new environmental education program launched by The Coastal Expeditions Foundation.

The ‘Outside In’ program “aims to improve standardized test scores, develop confidence being on the water, foster environmental stewardship, and encourage overall happiness in being outdoors.”

For the program’s first outing, students set out from Shem Creek to explore Lowcountry waterways and visit the Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary. Many of the students had never been on a boat prior to the trip. While on the water, students got up-close looks at Lowcountry wildlife, including an osprey nest with new chicks.

After the boat ride, students returned to the dock for a lesson with representatives from the Center for Birds of Prey.

The free program is slated to continue over the next six years, with many additional trips and classroom lessons planned for all grade levels.