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FY12-13 Impacts and Accomplishments – EXTENSION
Impacts and Accomplishments – EXTENSION


FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Community Development
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy, and water to conserve the resources needed to sustain coastal ecosystems and quaity of life.
Performance Measure: Number of coastal decision-makers making informed development decisions and policy/planning changes that address the sustainability of economic or environmental resources.
Title: A Low Impact Development Manual for South Carolina
Partners: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, NIWB and ACE-Basin National Estuarine Research Reserves, and the Center for Watershed Protection

RELEVANCE:  Coastal development, stormwater runoff, and changing climatic conditions threaten water resources in South Carolina’s coastal zone. As development continues rapidly along many portions of South Carolina’s coast, stormwater runoff volumes and pollutant loadings are expected to increase. Many coastal decision-makers, including, but not limited to, engineers, developers, and planners are aware of the benefits of using LID techniques to mitigate stormwater impacts to receiving waterbodies; however, they lack the expertise, guidance, and resources to implement them. It was clear from subsequent outreach activities that communities needed assistance to overcome these barriers with the development of an LID guidance document that is specific to coastal South Carolina.

RESPONSE:  The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium partnered with the ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Programs and the Center for Watershed Protection which received a $329,943 grant from the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) Science Collaborative to advance the practice of Low Impact Development (LID) in South Carolina through the development of a LID Manual. As part of this project, tools and guidance for stormwater management practices are being developed to address specific barriers identified by stakeholders. The S.C. Sea Grant Coastal Communities, Climate, and Geo-Spatial Extension Specialists on the project team are conducting stakeholder workshops and providing technical assistance as co-project investigators in the development of the manual.

RESULTS:  Through the use of Collaborative Learning techniques, project partners are engaging climate scientists and an interdisciplinary group of stakeholders in a process to design a coastal LID manual that it is relevant to the professional needs of its intended users, that will act as a resource for effective planning and decision-making, and is appropriate for current and future landscape and climate conditions. In the process of developing the manual, the team is creating the following resources and tools to support LID implementation in the South Carolina:
  • Modeling to support the integration of specific landscape and climate variables to guide future research and BMP design;
  • A comprehensive, digital spreadsheet that will enable intended users to model how BMPs could impact stormwater runoff and to select techniques appropriate to their site;
  • Support for updated urban planning and development regulations that will encourage the implementation of LID;
  • The integration of climate change predictions into BMPs design and guidance; and
  • Training on use of the manual for coastal communities.
RECAP:  Lack of expertise, guidance, and resources are significant barriers to LID implementation in coastal South Carolina communities. The S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program responded by collaborating with partners to successfully acquire grant funding to develop a LID guidance manual. Funding has been secured and the project is on-going.

FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Community Development
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy, and water to conserve the resources needed to sustain coastal ecosystems and quality of life.
Performance Measure: Number of coastal residents who have an increased awareness of the types of low impact development (LID) practices that are and can be implemented along the coast in order to protect/improve water quality. Number of homeowners and businesses that utilize LID practices on their properties. Number of LID projects added to the online atlas.
Title: South Carolina Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Low Impact Development (LID) Atlas
Project ID: A/E-1 & A/CG-1
Partners: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, S.C. NEMO Program, National NEMO Network and Clemson University

RELEVANCE:  Urban runoff and nonpoint source pollution are among the top ten probable sources of impairment for bays, estuaries, and near coastal waters, and are among the top five probable sources of impairment for coastal shorelines (U.S. EPA, 2010). Low impact development (LID) practices have been shown to mitigate the affects of stormwater runoff by mimicking the natural hydrology of the area and managing runoff close to the source. A major barrier to LID implementation is lack of knowledge.  Most homeowners do not know what LID is, why LID is beneficial to the community, or are unaware about how they can implement LID on their own properties. Many developers who are aware of LID are apprehensive to using LID because they don’t know where LID practices have been successful and are weary that they will not work as intended.

RESPONSE: The S.C. Sea Grant Coastal Communities Extension Program has led the effort to populate the South Carolina Low Impact Development Atlas.  The Atlas is an online mapping tool that highlights innovative LID projects that communities can implement to address stormwater and growth-related issues. The Atlas showcases specific, local and regional LID examples in an easy to use Google Maps format.  Examples include innovative techniques such as bio-swales, rain gardens, permeable pavement, and green roofs. Each project balloon on the map contains project specifics, a summary of the project, photos (when available) and links to more information. Part of a national mapping effort by the National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program, the Atlas highlights hundreds of LID projects throughout the U.S. and allows the user to search the contents. In FY11-12, S.C. Sea Grant Extension added detailed information for 81 projects across South Carolina to the Atlas, the second highest number of LID practices illustrated for any of the participating states. In FY12-13, S.C. Sea Grant updated links and improved descriptions to projects added in FY11-12 and uploaded information for 15 additional projects. Currently, 96 projects in South Carolina are showcased on the Atlas, still the second highest number among states and accounting for 11% of all content. The LID atlas can be viewed at   

RESULTS: The South Carolina Low Impact Development Atlas has been used by the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium and Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium to educate the public about LID practices and the types of practices that homeowners can implement on their own properties. Students in the Fall 2012 Water Resources class at the College of Charleston consulted the Atlas to get ideas about types of LID appropriate along the coast while developing a proposal submitted for the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge. Researchers at the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences have used the Atlas to determine the types of LID being implemented along coastal South Carolina in an effort to guide their research on coastal South Carolina LID practices.

RECAP: Lack of knowledge is a major barrier to LID implementation that may otherwise improve coastal water quality. The S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program responded by populating the South Carolina portion of the National LID Atlas to showcase 96 local examples of LID that can be applied by homeowners, businesses and developers. Coastal LID researchers, students and stormwater education consortia have used the Atlas to learn about low impact development and how it can be implemented in South Carolina.

FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Community Development
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy, and water to conserve the resources needed to sustain coastal ecosystems and quality of life.
Performance Measure: Increased communication and cooperation among interagency coastal outreach professionals.
Title: Expansion of the South Carolina Coastal Information Network and Resource Portal
PI: Turner, A/E-1 & A/CG-1
Partners: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, ACE Basin Coastal Training Program, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium, Berkeley-Dorchester-Charleston Council of Governments, Carolina CLEAR, Clemson Extension, Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium, Lowcountry Council of Governments, NOAA Hollings Marine Laboratory, Mount Pleasant Stormwater, NOAA Coastal Services Center, North Inlet-Winyah Bay Coastal Training Program, S.C. Department of Archives and History, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Bureau of Water, SCDHEC Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Urban Land Institute South Carolina, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Center for Forested Wetlands Research, U.S. Green Building Council South Carolina Chapter, Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments

RELEVANCE:  Outreach staff working in many programs (Sea Grant, NERR/CTP, Cooperative Extension, SCDNR, NOAA CSC, etc.) across the coast were duplicating each other in terms of hosting workshops, conferences, and training opportunities for various audiences. At times, programs would target the same audience for a similar event in a close timeframe; as a result either one or both of the outreach events would suffer from a reduced number of participants. There was an apparent disconnect between organizations, and particularly between outreach professionals. In addition to not knowing what each other were doing, coastal outreach professionals were also not aware of the products and tools developed and available from the others. What was needed was a better mechanism for communication and coordination among coastal outreach professionals and their programs.

RESPONSE:  S.C. Sea Grant responded in 2007 by organizing the South Carolina Coastal Information Network (SCCIN) with the goal of fostering inter-agency communication, coordination and cooperation. The Network consists of representatives (primarily outreach staff and some managers) from federal and state agencies, regional government agencies, and private organizations. SCCIN highlights:
  • 2006-7 Network created, quarterly meetings held
  • 2008-9 Listserv, events calendar, resource portal established
  • 2009-10 Shoreline Change Workshop Series held
In FY12-13, responding to user feedback that the resource portal on the SCCIN website had become a very useful tool in streamlining coastal research, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, as network administrator, took on the task of expanding the SCCIN’s information resource portal.

RESULTS:  There are currently 86 resources in the portal and it continues to grow. The Network quarterly meetings were revamped so that the bulk of meetings are dedicated to round-table discussions to keep each other informed and to identify opportunities to cooperate with one another. S.C. Sea Grant, the ACE Basin Coastal Training Program and the North Inlet-Winyah Bay Coastal Training Program have partnered to create a low impact development (LID) manual for coastal South Carolina which is currently underway. Several other Network partners have also participated in the LID manual process by providing feedback and attending workshops. State resource regulatory staff and members of the College of Charleston academic community have indicated their use of the SCCIN resource portal. The ‘GIS/Maps’ resource category was identified as being particularly valuable because it allows the user to quickly find several different databases for geospatial data.

RECAP:  Recognizing a need for improved communication and coordination among coastal information providers, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium organized the South Carolina Coastal Information Network (SC-CIN). Over the past seven years, this network has developed and expanded to serve its common audiences in a more organized, coordinated and efficient manner. SC-CIN has fostered a series of shoreline change workshops and a NERR-funded collaboration to produce a low impact design manual to enhance stormwater management practices in South Carolina.

FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Community Development
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy, and water to conserve the resources needed to sustain coastal ecosystems and quality of life.
Performance Measure: Number of coastal decision-makers making informed development decisions and policy/planning changes that address the sustainability of economic or environmental resources.
Title: Expansion of South Carolina Community Resource Inventory Online (CRI-SC) Project
PI: Turner, A/E-1 & A/CG-1
Partners: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium; National NEMO Network; North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; S.C. Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials program; Clemson University’s Baruch Institute and Carolina Clear program

RELEVANCE:  In order for South Carolina communities to sustainably plan for the future, decision-makers must have an understanding of what natural resources exist in South Carolina communities and where those resources are located. Roughly 30 billion dollars is generated in the state of South Carolina in annual natural resource related outputs, much of which originates along the coast. Coastal natural resource related tourism generates 7 billion dollars of the overall state economic output alone, and South Carolina commercial fisheries account for another 34 million dollars (Moore School of Business, 2009). Therefore, it is also critical for coastal decision-makers to be aware of the hazards to their communities and have the ability to assess the threat these hazards pose to natural resources, the public and the economy. This knowledge and understanding is what builds sustainable and resilient communities. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and several partners developed the template and piloted the South Carolina Community Resource Inventory (CRI), an online mapping tool, in Georgetown County during FY11-12. The tool provided both GIS and non-GIS enabled communities in Georgetown County access to geospatial data necessary to identify, characterize, and locate natural resources information. The tool enables data to be packaged in a way that is more readily accessible, or in some cases makes data available that was previously not accessible due to a lack of equipment and trained staff. Stakeholder feedback indicated that the tool would be of benefit to all eight South Carolina coastal counties and suggested additional data be incorporated to increase the analyses that can be made using the tool.

RESPONSE:  The S.C. Sea Grant Coastal Communities Extension Program led the upgrade and expansion of the CRI-SC to include all eight South Carolina coastal counties. Existing data were reorganized to simplify the data selection process and additional data was incorporated. In conjunction with Clemson University, an enhanced version of the ESRI ArcGIS Viewer for Flex was beta-tested and put in place to make the CRI-SC more user-friendly. The improved CRI-SC has increased functionality, which allows users to print both maps and legends. This feature was not previously possible in the pilot format and was identified as an inadequacy of that version. The expanded list of data currently accessible through the CRI-SC includes: 303(d) list of water quality impairments; coastal county boundaries; coastal HUC 10 and 12 watersheds; elevation contours; flood zones; impervious surface as derived from the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD); NLCD and NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) land cover; parcels and zoning; prime farmland; protected lands; Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model as run for coastal South Carolina; soil drainage classes; soil particle size; and South Carolina water basins.  Stakeholders include coastal decision-makers and those that advise them, city/county planning commissions, public works staff, city/county councils, and regulatory agency staff. Overall project partners include the S.C. Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials program, Clemson University's Baruch Institute and Carolina Clear program, and the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The CRI-SC online mapping tool can be accessed at:

RESULTS:  The CRI-SC has enabled the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Bureau of Water agency staff to make quick analyses of coastal watersheds they manage. The most useful data in both of these cases are those related to water, specifically the 303(d) list of impaired waters, the coastal HUC 10 and 12 watersheds, and soil drainage classes which are not available for interactive spatial viewing or map making on any other website.

RECAP:  Stakeholders requested an expansion to the CRI-SC tool in terms of functionality and locations served. Sea Grant responded by incorporating additional data layers and including data for all eight of the South Carolina coastal counties. State regulatory agency staff and coastal researchers have indicated their use of the CRI-SC and have expressed the efficient analyses and decision-making they have been able to do.

FOCUS AREA: The Coastal and Ocean Landscape
Widespread use of ecosystem-based approaches to managing land, water, and living resources in coastal areas. Sound scientific information is available to support ecosystem-based approaches to management and decision-making for the coastal environment.
Performance Measure: Attendance at Consortium-sponsored ecological services workshops and information events.
Title: 2012 Stormwater Pond Management Conferences
PI: Turner, A/E-1
Partners: Clemson Cooperative Extension and Carolina Clear, SCDNR, ACE Basin NERR, Ashley-Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium, Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortiuim, NIWB NERR

RELEVANCE:  A recent investigation by Dr. Erik Smith of the USC Belle W. Baruch Institute identified over 14,000 ponds in coastal South Carolina, most of which were constructed since the 1970’s to control stormwater runoff (Coastal Heritage, Vol. 24, No. 4, Summer 2011). Stormwater ponds are designed primarily to control stormwater quantity and runoff, but are also looked at to improve water quality. As a result, they create a unique set of management issues, especially over time. Recent articles in Stormwater Magazine and the Coastal Heritage publication cited above highlight water quality issues (resulting from excess nutrients, pesticides, heavy metals, and other pollutants), and research efforts in coastal South Carolina to better understand stormwater ponds and best management options.

RESPONSE:  S.C. Sea Grant Consortium-supported scientists and Extension Specialists responded to the need to extend the latest scientific information on stormwater ponds to pond managers in the public and private sectors by partnering with a number of organizations to assemble and leading two regional pond conferences in Myrtle Beach and Charleston. The Stormwater Pond Conferences targeted local officials, stormwater professionals, and homeowner associations in Charleston, Horry, and Georgetown counties.

RESULTS:  More than 300 homeowner association members and community managers were informed about the importance of pond management and maintenance at the Stormwater Pond Conference series.

RECAP:  Ponds are the most commonly used practice in South Carolina coastal communities to manage the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff, but are not without management issues. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and its partners conducted a pond management conference series that provided training and technical assistance to build capacity and inform homeowners, as well as local government officials and staff.

FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Community Development
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy, and water to conserve the resources needed to sustain coastal ecosystems and quality of life.
Performance Measure: Number of homeowners/coastal residents who have an increased awareness of the importance of septic system maintenance to improve coastal ecosystems and human health. Number of coastal residents who have expanded their knowledge about the importance of septic system maintenance.
Title: Septic System Replacements and Repairs Improving Water Quality
Partners: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, Charleston Soil and Water Conservation District, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

RELEVANCE:  Many waterways in the predominantly rural communities of Awendaw and McClellanville, S.C. are classified as impaired on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list because of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria (FC). These impairments have impacts on shellfish consumption and human health with water quality monitoring station sampling results indicating levels of bacteria making it unsafe for swimming and shellfish harvesting in some of the local waterways. Due to earlier studies identifying widespread deficiencies in onsite wastewater treatment in areas with underprivileged households, the primary focus of this project was on a septic tank rehabilitation program with an extensive education and outreach campaign targeting homeowners.

RESPONSE:  Based on information and assistance provided by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, the S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program, and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Charleston Soil and Water Conservation District and partners installed 62 replacement septic systems and repaired four systems in the Sewee to Santee priority watershed. Sites for the repair and replacement of septic systems were focused in the areas with underprivileged households in the towns of McClellanville and Awendaw, S.C. To be eligible for septic system assistance, residents were required to attend one of eight homeowner workshops in addition to submitting an application. The S.C. Sea Grant Coastal Communities Extension Specialist assisted with organizing and conducting a number of these workshops, where participants received information on proper septic system operation and maintenance. Watershed residents, including homeowners, local businesses, and churches, were sent outreach/informational materials (e.g., project accomplishments, septic system maintenance fact sheet, list of web resources, and magnet with top 5 activities for a healthy watershed) to educate them about how their activities at home could impact the water quality in their community.  This project was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency's Section 319 grant program for non-point source pollution management. To view the complete project report, visit the Coastal Growth Publications section of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium website (

RESULTS:  Residents in the target communities learned about the proper function and maintenance of their septic systems. Sixty-two malfunctioning septic systems were replaced coinciding with State reports to the USEPA of improved water quality adjacent waters. The State Shellfish Sanitation Program recently reopened 883 acres of shellfish harvesting beds in McClellanville that had been closed since 2006 because FC bacteria levels in the water declined to an acceptable level. This occurred after almost 20 systems were replaced as a part of the septic renovation project in this particular area.

RECAP:  Working with the Charleston Soil and Water Conservation District, the state natural resource agency, and the state environmental health agency, S.C. Sea Grant participated in a project to repair and replace septic systems in rural, economically disadvantaged, coastal communities. As a result of this project and other related work, the state reported water quality improvements to the USEPA, and was able to re-open to harvest 883 acres of previously long closed shellfish beds in the project area.

FOCUS AREA: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
Sufficient community capacity to prepare for, adapt to, mitigate, and recover from hazardous events.
Performance Metrics: Tools and technologies developed with Consortium support for use in short term hazards and long-term climate change applications. 1 tool
Partners: Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM)
Title: Sea Grant beta tests updated beach monitoring data portal

RELEVANCE:  Coastal hazards are an ongoing concern for residents of the South Carolina coast. Community leaders, real-estate agents, government officials, and individual property owners have contacted the S.C. Sea Grant coastal processes extension specialist (CPES) in order to gather more information about the hazards associated with living adjacent to the ocean. The first step of adapting to the local sea level variability is gauging the annual health of the beach based on whether the beach has eroded, accreted, or remained static. Finding a medium through which to share this scientific information can be difficult. Well-organized websites that are easy to navigate provide an important resource allowing for residents and decision-makers to quickly access information about their local beach. 

RESPONSE:  An existing web site that houses annual beach morphology data (including beach and offshore elevation/depth, beach width and sand volume) has been used for nearly a decade by state coastal management agencies and universities to create reports on the status of the state’s beaches. This site, however, has been noted by local community leaders to be difficult to access, use and navigate. Using updated technology to better format the user interface, the CPES has guided an undergraduate computer information systems student at Coastal Carolina University in the creation of a new data portal for improved, more intuitive, access to the beach information for lay audiences.

RESULTS:  The web site ( is now up and functional, and is being beta-tested by the Army Corps of Engineers. More historical data are being ported from the original site, and the Sea Grant coastal processes extension specialist is soliciting comments and feedback from community leaders to test the user-friendliness of the new site. 

RECAP:  The S.C. Sea Grant coastal processes extension specialist identified a weakness in existing data access via tedious password requirements, poor user interface, and outdated data displays, and developed a more widely accessible data portal that could better meet the needs of a lay audience while maintaining existing functionality for professionals. 

FOCUS AREA: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
Goals: Widespread understanding of the risks associated with living, working, and doing business along the nation’s coasts.
Performance Metrics: Coastal communities and citizens provided with information/trained in local hazard resiliency, and hazard mitigation tools, techniques, and best practices. 2 communities
*Scientific, technical, and educational products produced by Consortium related to hazard resiliency in coastal communities. 1 product
Partners: Charleston County, the Coastal Carolina Fair
Project Number: A/E-1
Title: Sea Grant extends coastal processes information to thousands

RELEVANCE:  To fully understand the hazards associated with living at the coast, residents need to understand basic processes that shape the beach. Reaching large numbers of residents at once can be one of the most difficult parts of extension.  Festivals, fairs and outreach-based activities on a large scale provide a conduit by which a large number of people can be made aware of Sea Grant efforts in their communities and spark follow-up extension activities. In this instance, the Consortium was approached by the organizers of the Coastal Carolina Fair to set up an educational display from October 25-November 4th 2012 in Charleston County, SC.

RESPONSE:  The S.C. Sea Grant coastal processes extension specialist (CPES) created a display that focused on beach change via wave and current activity, engineering structures, and dune vegetation, which all may influence sediment supply and distribution. In addition to a three-panel instructional poster, samples of common dune plants and a demonstration of various sediment attributes that would be found on different sections of the beach (including examples of dune sands, beach sands, and nourished beach sands) were provided.

RESULTS:  Nearly 230,000 people attended the fair, potentially seeing the educational display.  Based on the number of Sea Grant materials that had been picked up, the number of people who had visited the display numbered well into the hundreds. The Consortium’s poster display was awarded second place of all the educational displays presented. 

RECAP:  The S.C. Sea Grant coastal processes extension specialist created an information kiosk at the Coastal Carolina Fair, which informed the public about processes that shape their local beaches. Hundreds of people were informed, and the display was recognized with an award.

FOCUS AREA: Sustainable Coastal Development and Economy
Healthy coastal economies that include working waterfronts, abundant recreation and tourism opportunities, and coastal access.
Performance Measure: Coastal communities engaged in planning and developing activities and strategies that address the sustainability of economic and environmental resources as a result of Consortium’s capacity building, tools, data, technologies, and/or education of community leaders. Communities Engaged: 3
Title: Sea Grant helps establish educational wind turbines
Partners: Coastal Carolina University, S.C. Energy Office, Santee Cooper Power Authority, North Strand Coastal Wind Team, North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Wind Turbines of South Carolina, llc.

RELEVANCE:  State energy suppliers in conjunction with local municipalities and scientific researchers have begun to move forward with plans to establish alternative energy in the form of offshore wind. This process was started in 2008 with the passage of South Carolina Act 318 which created a committee to specifically review the feasibility of wind farms. Their final report, released in 2010, included 18 recommendations that all supported moving forward with offshore wind energy. Despite these efforts at the various governmental levels and via research projects, there remained a lack of public engagement in the communities adjacent to the projected sites for offshore wind energy. To be more proactive in informing their community, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and economic development committee received a grant to establish educational land-based turbines, but they were unsure how to proceed with the community extension.

RESPONSE:  The CPES organized delivery of the two wind turbines, helped to construct the towers and erect the turbines, and obtained footage of the construction process. This footage was used to produce educational videos that document the process of installing a wind turbine and explains the history of the project. While working with the turbine installation crew, the CPES negotiated the donation of a ground-level demonstration wind turbine (valued at $7,000) with a cut-out that allows people to see the internal workings of the turbine. CPES took the lead in creating a management plan for the energy production data at the two turbine locations, providing information to researchers at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, which has been chosen to lead statewide wind energy production feasibility studies. 

RESULTS:  Footage taken during the installation process was produced into an educational video which covers how the wind turbine is built and how it produces energy. Five videos have been posted to YouTube and have collectively received over 450 views to date, including a single video edited to portray multiple aspects of the process at The ground-based demonstration turbine was officially received by the North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum on June 6th, 2012 and the official opening of the museum occurred April 10th, 2013. The CPES arranged for the turbine to be displayed at the North Myrtle Beach city hall between June and October 2012, while the museum remained under construction. It was estimated that more than 200 community members would have seen the turbine display, per month, during its time being housed at the city hall. The CPES downloads energy production data and performs statistical analysis on the data before transferring the information to Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

RECAP:  The CPES has been engaged with a consortium of stakeholders, centered in North Myrtle Beach, at every step of initiating wind energy research, extension, and public awareness. This has included construction of education turbines, negotiating donations, creating A/V aids, and providing researcher support. 

FOCUS AREA: The Coastal and Ocean Landscape
Sound scientific information available to support ecosystem-based approaches to managing the coastal environment.
Performance Metrics: Communities and resource agencies that incorporate results of Consortium research in addressing ecosystem-based management and habitat management goals.1 resource agency.
Title: Sea Grant kicks off Southeast weather monitoring
PI: Slattery, A/E-1
Partners: NOAA, National Weather Service, Coastal Carolina University, Rutgers, North Carolina State University, Environmental and Climate Observing Network (ECONet)

RELEVANCE:  The ability of people to prepare for weather events depends on the accuracy of models that rely on integrating real-time observations. The Environmental and Climate Observing Network (ECONet) was established at Coastal Carolina University to integrate weather station data, and for the first time anywhere, oceanographic data into a common database that would directly feed NOAA’s Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS). The MDIS system is then used by the National Weather Service in completing their forecasts. ECONet needed a coordinator to effectively communicate among multiple researchers of varying backgrounds, third-party vendors, and the granting agency to ensure delivery of the data product to the funding agency (NOAA).

RESPONSE:  The S.C. Sea Grant Coastal Processes Extension Specialist (CPES) acted to coordinate the efforts of computer programmers responsible for developing the data transfer protocols with the research team responsible for developing the instrumentation and data collection. After identifying the short term needs to meet an April 2012 deadline for live data streams into MADIS, the CPES contacted the contractor (YSI Econet) responsible for the first benchmark data feed that needed to be established in order to meet the requirements of the first year’s funding. The CPES was able to work with YSI Econet and the computer science department at Coastal Carolina University to establish new data transfer protocols. The program included a number of professionals in North and South Carolina from an array of organizations. 

RESULTS:  As a direct result of coordination provided by the CPES, the oceanographic feed from the pilot site at Apache Pier was successfully integrated into the database schema and relayed on to the MADIS system for weather modeling. This data provided, for the first time in the nation, oceanographic information (dissolved oxygen, temperature, depth, salinity) in addition to atmospheric data to the NOAA weather prediction models. In addition to the successful, real-time data product, protocols were established for relaying additional oceanographic information from ocean buoys (which were deployed in late March 2012) and additional nearshore sites located on two other piers. 

RECAP:  The CPES helped create new data transfer protocols and coordinate a large research team in feeding weather and, for the first time in the nation, oceanographic observations to national forecasting data systems. This data will improve weather forecasts for the South East region of the United States. 

FOCUS AREA: The Coastal and Ocean Landscape
Restored function and productivity of degraded ecosystems.
Performance Measure:
Title: Clean Marine Program – Beaufort County, SC 2012

RELEVANCE:  Marine debris continues to be an issue of great concern along coastal waterways and marshes nationwide.  In response, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium continues to develop outreach and educational products, such as the Educators Guide to Marine Debris for the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico (see and lead community clean-up efforts such as the annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep to promote awareness and community action. 

RESPONSE:  As previously reported, the S.C. Sea Grant extension and education staff secured funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program in 2011 for a “Clean Marine” project that focused on the identification, reporting, and disposal of large marine debris and abandoned boats found in and along coastal waterways in Charleston County, SC.  The program trained more than 60 volunteers to use an online field reporting system to locate large debris in the environment for later disposal, and conducted a three-day volunteer effort to collect and dispose of unwanted fishing gear, boats, and other large marine debris. 

In 2012, the South Carolina Sea Grant Extension Specialist living in Beaufort County, SC initiated and led a community-based team in a county-wide marine debris clean-up modeled on the 2011 Charleston project.  This project was also supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Grant ($8,675).  Local partners included: Beaufort County Department of Public Works, Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District, Clemson Extension, Keep America Beautiful, SC Department of Health and Human Services, SC Department of Natural Resources, Town of Bluffton, Town of Hilton Head, Lowcountry Institute, Beaufort Kayak Tours, Beaufort Power Squadron, US Coast Guard Auxilliary, U.S. Marine Corps, and Waste Management, Inc. 

RESULTS:  On November 2-4, 2012, the Beaufort County marine debris clean-up was held. Over that weekend more that 3.75 tons of debris were removed from local waterways and marshes, including 13 boats.  This was accomplished by 51 community volunteers donating 204 hours of their time, valued at $3,449.64.  This was made possible by the partnership of local organizations that donated 285 hours of staff time, and additional grants by Boat US ($4,000) and Keep America Beautiful ($1,000).

RECAP:  The S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program’s Beaufort Clean Marine Program successfully engaged the community in removing 3.75 tons of debris, including 13 boats, from coastal waterways, saving local taxpayers $3,449.64 in debris removal costs.

FOCUS AREA: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
Sufficient community capacity to prepare for, adapt to, mitigate, and recover from hazardous events.
Performance Measure:
Title:  Using Participatory Scenario Building to Encourage Climate-Resilient Zoning in the Coastal Carolinas
PI: Whitehead, SCSGEP
Project Number:  A/ECC-3

RELEVANCE:  Beaufort County is one of South Carolina’s eight coastal counties, located along the southern third of the state’s coastal region.  Some fifty-one percent of Beaufort County’s over 162,000 residents currently live in a FEMA-designated flood zone. The county’s rapid growth – 34% since 2000 – ensures that an ever-increasing number of people become exposed to flood hazards and the effects of climate change.  As part of its 2012 Comprehensive Plan, Beaufort County recognized flooding and sea level rise as a threat, and states that “The potential impacts of sea level rise on low-lying areas should be a consideration in future land use planning, site plan review, and the location of future roads and other public facilities.” However, enacting plans that include information on future climate and sea level rise has been difficult for the county because climate scenarios for temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise present a wide range of possible climate futures.

RESPONSE:  Beaufort County’s new emphasis on enacting form-based codes offered an opportunity to incorporate such planning by ensuring that zoning ordinances encouraging economic development and preserving local sense of place also enhance resilience to environmental change. One answer to coping with the lack of precision in available climate data was to focus on building Beaufort County’s resilience to a variety of climatic conditions, rather than planning for specific actions in anticipation of specific projections. To do this, Beaufort County required additional expertise and partnerships on climate resilience.  In response, the Beaufort County Planning Department partnered with the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and the Social and Environmental Institute to develop a plan for making the county’s zoning more resilient to climate change by using two participatory tools. The team successfully competed for a $99,778 grant from the National Sea Grant Office’s Coastal Community Climate Adaptation Initiative (CCCAI) to support climate change resilience work in Beaufort County, S.C.

RESULT:  The team completed initial scoping for the project, including a preliminary assessment of initial concerns and of county plans that are relevant for climate adaptation. This initial work provided the background necessary for the S.C. Sea Grant Climate Extension Specialist to lead the use of two participatory modeling groups with Beaufort County’s Planning Department. S.C. Sea Grant’s climate extension specialist organized an initial meeting and strategizing session with the Beaufort County Planning Department. A compilation of Beaufort County’s plans and ordinances that may be impacted by climate change has been completed and will inform both interviews in March 2013 and a Vulnerability, Consequences, and Adaptation Planning Scenario (VCAPS) exercise in April 2013. The VCAPS process allows community staff and decision-makers to diagram the impacts of potential climate stressors on municipal management issues and the consequences these impacts would have. The Coastal Community Future Adaptive Capacity Scenario (CC-FACS) process will use the VCAPS diagrams to create scenarios that visualize possible consequences of adaptation actions.

RECAP:  The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium received a $99,778 competitive grant to help Beaufort County, SC develop scenarios that address climate change resilience in its zoning and ordinances.

FOCUS AREA: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
Sufficient community capacity to prepare for, adapt to, mitigate, and recover from hazardous events; Widespread understanding of the risks associated with living, working, and \doing business along the nation’s coasts
Title: Assisting Citizen Scientists with Risk and Resilience in McClellanville, SC
PI: Whitehead
Project Numbers: A/E-1 & A/ECC-3
Partners:  Kitchen Table Climate Study Group of McClellanville, SC (KTCSG); Social and Environmental Institute (SERI); Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) center at the University of South Carolina; Oregon Sea Grant College Program

RELEVANCE:  The Kitchen Table Climate Study Group of McClellanville, SC (KTCSG) is a community group interested in encouraging adaptation to climate change in their small fishing village, but they need assistance with getting relevant information out to residents. The town government is uncertain about how best to deal with future challenges from increasing rainfall variability and sea level rise. McClellanville also faces several other hazard and climate-related stressors; it sustained severe damage during Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and its low elevation and flat topography already complicate planning for and managing stormwater runoff and erosion. The KTCSG needs a better understanding of what local perceptions are of environmental issues so they can craft an outreach message that addresses adaptation in the context of these other local concerns.

RESPONSE:  In 2011, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium partnered with the Social and Environmental Institute (SERI) and the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) center at the University of South Carolina to assist decision-makers in the Town of McClellanville to explore the consequences climate variability and change may have on stormwater management.  The facilitated discussion used the Vulnerability and Consequences Adaptation Planning Scenario (VCAPS) process, developed by SERI, CISA, and S.C. Sea Grant, to begin the first formal discussion about climate variability and change among town decision-makers in McClellanville. To build on this work, in 2012 the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and Oregon Sea Grant conducted 12 interviews with McClellanville residents and community leaders about their perceptions of environmental issues and climate change using funding from NOAA’s Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) via Oregon Sea Grant.

RESULTS:  Trained facilitators provided town officials with information about potential climate hazards and then guided them through identifying the consequences of heavy rainfall events, more variable precipitation, and sea level rise on storm-water and drainage in the historic fishing village. Participants described potential impacts of flooding and standing water on the local mosquito population, increased pollutant loads impacts on shellfish beds, and elevated water table heights on private property drainage.  They determined that the Town could reduce some of the negative consequences by developing more proactive relationships with County stormwater management, as well as starting educational initiatives for private citizens. Interviewees indicated the forest and marshes surrounding McClellanville are very important to the town’s identity, as are opportunities for fishing. The changes most often observed by McClellanville residents involved pressures from development, but participants also cited changes in creek water quality and beach erosion. Only three respondents indicated that climate is changing and humans are the main cause; others expressed belief that changes are primarily natural or did not know what could be causing changes. Over half cited public apathy as a significant barrier to adapting to climate change. S.C. Sea Grant is working with the KTCSG to develop public displays and outreach materials that identify how climate change could impact marshes and fishing in McClellanville, this work will be completed in June 2013. The displays will be accompanied by a town workshop to acquire additional public feedback on these issues. The Town of McClellanville will apply the results from the VCAPS process and the workshop activities to begin analyzing how the town can better manage its stormwater and educate its citizens under the conditions of climate variability and change.

RECAP:  A local citizen’s group, the Kitchen Table Climate Study Group of McClellanville, SC, concerned about the impact of climate change and variability on its small fishing village, requested assistance in acquiring information about how and what to communicate on the subject to its neighbors. Based on information generated through two research projects, the SC Sea Grant Consortium Climate Extension Specialist has been able to advise the group on how it can move forward in the development of a community communications strategy.

FOCUS AREA: Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
Goal 1, Objective 1.1
Performance Measure: Tool/Technology: Climate and Salinity Decision-Support Tool
Title: Climate and Salinity Intrusion Decision Support Tools Developed for the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin
PI: Whitehead, SCSGEP
Project Number: A/ECC-2

RELEVANCE:  Reduced river flows during drought threaten fresh water supplies in coastal areas because the lower flows allow the salt water wedge to penetrate further inland from estuaries than is normal. During droughts over the past decade, some coastal drinking water systems and industries monitored threats to fresh drinking water and industrial water intakes due to this salinity intrusion; some have even had to periodically take intakes offline due to high salinities that can damage drinking water treatment systems and industrial equipment.

RESPONSE:  To help decision-makers understand how the frequency of salt water intrusion events may change under future precipitation and sea level scenarios, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) center at the University of South Carolina, and the USGS SC Water Sciences Center adapted an existing decision support system (DSS) for salinity intrusion in the coastal Yadkin-Pee Dee river basin. The team used a $236,000 grant from the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program (#NA08OAR4310715) to add climate model-based precipitation scenarios and increments of sea level rise to the Model 2 (PRISM2) decision support tool. This modification is significant in that it allows water managers to explore how often salt-water intrusion events may occur in the Yadkin-Pee Dee River basin under conditions influenced by ongoing and future climatic change.

RESULT:  Twenty-four water managers in the region learned about how to use the PRISM2 DSS and improved their understanding of how future droughts and sea level rise could affect salinity intrusion at water intakes. Workshop participants identified several potential future applications for the tool, including new ways to use it for prioritizing land acquisition for habitat conservation. Managers will have PRISM2 available to help them determine how far upstream water intakes should be to reduce future salinity intrusion problems. UPDATE: In 2012, CISA and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium co-authored a report for decision-makers on the project, titled Assessing the Impact of Saltwater Intrusion in the Carolinas under Future Climatic and Sea Level Conditions. This report was featured on the NOAA Climate Program Office home page on January 15, 2013, and has been viewed 173 times (
RECAP:  The addition of climate-based precipitation scenarios and increments of sea-level rise to the PRISM2 decision-support tool allows water managers to estimate salt-water intrusion events due to ongoing and future climate change.

Last updated: 6/24/2013 1:03:14 PM
FY12-13 Impacts and Accomplishments – EXTENSION


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