Skip to Content

Baruch Institute

  • Baruch Marine Laboratory


The Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences conducts research and supports education to improve the management of marine and coastal resources. We advance basic science for the well-being of people and their environment.

Belle's Legacy was the beginning.

Belle W. Baruch was a remarkable and accomplished person. And as such, she had a vision for the relatively undisturbed 16,000-acre Hobcaw Barony that would transcend her death in 1964.  Her will established a foundation to ensure the land was used in perpetuity for the "purposes of teaching and/or research in forestry, marine biology, and the care and propagation of wildlife, flora and fauna in connection with colleges and/or universities in the state of South Carolina." The Belle W. Baruch Foundation selected the University of South Carolina as a partner in fulfilling Belle's mandate for the marine and estuarine environments of Hobcaw. In 1969, through the joint action of the University and the Foundation, the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences was established.

Where we are organizationally and geographically  

The Baruch Institute is part of the UofSC College of Arts and Sciences and the College's School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. We have facilities on the university’s main campus in Columbia, South Carolina, and a field laboratory located on Hobcaw Barony, near Georgetown, S.C.

The scope of our research

Our comprehensive estuarine and coastal research program can be described broadly as the geological, chemical, hydrological and biological processes and interactions within coastal systems; food webs inclusive of the complex interactions among organisms and with their environment which can influence the structure of biological communities and the success or failure of a species; and global change as seen through the lens of long-term measurements and monitoring efforts of the essentially pristine North Inlet Estuary.  See our Research page for more information.

Unique protected location provides rare opportunity 

North Inlet Estuary (Hobcaw Barony), the focus of much of the Institute's research, has outstanding water and habitat qualities and the changes observed can be interpreted as natural processes free of local disturbance. This increasingly rare opportunity enables scientists to compare North Inlet Estuary to other more developed estuaries and assess impacts associated with human activities. Our comprehensive long-term and other datasets are readily available via our website and in conjunction with our published research provide context for new studies.

Partnering with education and training

Integral to our research are educational and training programs, outreach activities, and information dissemination for diverse audiences: K-12, university and secondary school faculty and students, governmental regulatory personnel, environmentalists, and the general public. Programs are offered through the Baruch Institute's field laboratory and the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Visiting us

Whether research, education, or training is the purpose, groups and individuals wanting to visit the Baruch Institute are always welcome; however, a little planning is necessary. This is particularly important if the BMFL is your desired destination because access to the privately owned Hobcaw Barony is controlled. The information needed to schedule a visit and to arrange the required resources can be found on our "Plan a Visit" page.

Belle's legacy was a unique gift to all of us - not just to scientists and educators - and one that continues to grow with our increasing knowledge and understanding of these environments. To learn about the fascinating history of Belle Baruch, the Baruch family, and Hobcaw Barony please visit the Baruch Foundation website and their public education center, Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center.



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.