Take some time to read about the naturalists who will be leading you on your next adventure! All of our guides and captains strive to provide safe, fun adventures that you will never forget. Like someone in particular? They love to be requested!
Captain Joe Lotts
Joe is the owner and operator of COA and you can frequently find him leading trips on the water. Once you meet him it is no surprise that he has been guiding since the young age of fifteen. After discovering his love and tremendous passion for the outdoors, Joe attended and graduated from Brevard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. While living in the mountains of North Carolina, Joe sharpened his kayaking and guiding skills in whitewater rivers and steep mountainous creeks. After moving to Charleston, Joe worked in the industry mastering the skills needed to provide the best guiding service in the region. After 16 years of experience, he branched off to start Charleston Outdoor Adventures, LLC and has been running the business since 2009.
Captain Tripp Copeland III
From Winton, NC, Tripp discovered his love of the outdoors at an early age. Spending his summers in the Outer Banks, he grew an appreciation of the East Coast and especially its waters. Tripp followed his passion to Brevard College, where he graduated with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. He started guiding kayak eco tours in 2003 in Beaufort, N.C. From there, he moved to Charleston where he has been guiding ever since. Living in Charleston, he has developed a great enthusiasm for the Lowcountry and a wide knowledge of its estuaries and wildlife. Tripp is excited to be working with a company that shares his views on the importance of promoting awareness about local environments and ecosystems. He is our go-to fishing captain and kayak fishing guide.
Captain Luke Levanchy
Luke is a native of New Jersey and has lived in the Lowcountry for 9 years. He left the corporate world after realizing that he wanted to enjoy his work every day and be outdoors. After six years of guiding for COA, he is one of our most passionate, knowledgeable captains. Luke enjoys providing fun, educational tours for locals and visitors alike. Luke is a lover of all things water and you can frequently find him surfing on Folly Beach when he is not guiding.
Cade was born in South Carolina where he grew up kayaking, fishing, and exploring in the creeks and marshes of the Lowcountry. His passion carried into an educational setting, studying marine biology and ecology in high school and into higher education at the College of Charleston. Cade is our go-to guide for anything paleontological, with a depth of information on South Carolina’s rich fossil history. His passion for the ecosystem and everything in it is evident in his attitude here on Bowens Island.
A South Carolina native, Josh was raised in the tidal waters of Charleston. Always being an outdoor enthusiasts, he quickly became passionate about preserving fragile ecosystems. During his time in the United States Marine Corps, Josh was fortunate to visit many exotic places where his love for conservation grew. Now, as an eco-tour guide, his desire is to instill that very same passion into others. When he is not guiding, Josh enjoys hiking and reading about American History. He can often be found at concerts – especially if his idol, Dave Matthews, is playing near Charleston!
Rosa is proud to call Charleston, South Carolina her home. Growing up on the water, she developed a love for nature, and much of her childhood was spent on a boat or kayak, at the beach, or romping through the salt marsh looking for new critters and birds to identify. Pursuing her love of science, Rosa earned her biology degree at Shenandoah University in the mountains of northern Virginia. It wasn’t long after though that she realized her heart belonged to the coast. She returned to Charleston with a passion for environmental education and has experience as a naturalist in both the South Carolina state park and school systems. Rosa remains an enthusiastic student of all things biology-related and continues to relish the time she has on the water teaching others about the marine ecosystem she loves!
Alex was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love of the outdoors began while attending summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While pursuing degrees in Spanish and Environmental Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she spent summers working as a camp counselor and expedition leader on the Outer Banks. She loves paddling, gardening, and anything that connects her to the natural world. Alex is particularly passionate about sea shells, dolphins, and learning more about the value of coastal ecosystems.
Helen is from the top of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where her love for the outdoors began. She graduated from the University of Lynchburg in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a concentration in water quality. After falling in love with the Lowcountry after just one visit she moved down to the Charleston area in 2016 and has been a guide with COA ever since. When she’s not enjoying her office view from Folly Creek Helen enjoys anything that gets her outside, including surfing, gardening, camping, and playing with a crazy Husky-mix named Bella. She hopes to combine her passions for conservation and agriculture by pursuing a higher degree in Agroecology in the near future. For now she feels extremely fortunate to be able to share her knowledge and excitement about the coastal ecosystems of SC with all of our guests!
Allyson moved to Charleston and joined COA in 2019. It wasn’t until her college years that she discovered her passion for the outdoors. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation. Allyson has applied her education and interest in natural places by finding work in environmental education, trip leading, and teambuilding. COA is the perfect place for Allyson’s love for people and the natural world to come together. When not on the water, she can be found indulging in sushi, playing frisbee, or working on a jigsaw puzzle.
Gage is from Florence, South Carolina, but currently resides in Charleston while studying Social Studies Education at The Citadel. During his time in college, Gage has found a love for the natural beauty and history that surrounds the city of Charleston. Paired with a passion for teaching, Gage enjoys using his platform as an eco tour guide to share with others the importance and role that our ecosystem plays in housing his favorite animal: the Bottlenose dolphin. When he’s not guiding, Gage can still be found around the water paddle boarding, kayaking, or surfing at Folly Beach. While on dry land, he loves watching baseball, golfing, and playing football for The Citadel.
Captain Anton Dumars
Captain Anton Dumars, a longtime Folly Beach resident, lives for the water. He’s sailed the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to the US Virgin Islands. As a USCG licensed 50-ton master for over 27 years, Captain Anton “knows the ropes” of fun and safety. As a coastal geologist and adjunct professor, he loves interpreting the lowcountry’s abundant saltmarsh ecosystem for those aboard.
Josh “JB” Butler
Growing up in the backwoods of Landrum, South Carolina, Josh found a passion for the wildlife and mountain streams of the Southern Appalachia. Josh would go on to the College of Charleston to obtain a degree in Biology in order to make a living out of his love for the outdoors. Inspired by the likes of Steve Irwin and David Attenborough, Josh uses his platform as a guide to get people excited about ecology and the importance of conservation. When not out on the water, you can find him playing bass with bands downtown or in the woods flipping logs looking for critters.
Katie grew up in Scituate, Rhode Island then attended College in Keene, New Hampshire. While in New Hampshire she studied infectious bacteria found in oysters. After finishing her B.S. in Biology Katie move to Charleston in 2017 to work in medical research at MUSC. She is beyond excited to spend the summer before attending Medical School in her favorite place, the outdoors! Outside of work and school Katie enjoys backpacking in the upstate with her pup, yoga, trying to garden and exploring Charleston!