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News & Notes – Spring 2014
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On the Waterfront: Can Traditional Industries Survive Explosive Change?
VOLUME 28, NUMBER 2, SPRING 2014             

On the Waterfront: Can Traditional Industries Survive Explosive Change?
By John H. Tibbetts                                                                       back to main story  

News and Notes

Consortium receives $1.33M for Sea Grant activities

The National Sea Grant College Program awarded $1.33 million to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium to support the first year of its research, extension, communications, and education efforts for 2014-2016. As part of this award, the following eight peer-reviewed research projects were selected for funding. Details of each project are posted on the Consortium’s website at
For more information, contact Rick DeVoe, executive director, at (843) 953-2078.

Coastal and Ocean Landscape

  • Clonal aging and the molecular basis for sudden marsh dieback. James Morris, University of South Carolina. Researchers will conduct experimental and observational studies to test whether sudden marsh dieback, or brown marsh, of Spartina alterniflora is affected by genetic activities that accumulate with stand age.

Sustainable Coastal Development and Economy

  • Evaluating the cause and effect after 20 years of assessing the impacts of coastal development on tidal creek headwaters. Denise Sanger, S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Scientists will assess and refine existing models relating to environmental quality in tidal creeks in relationship to their changing surrounding land uses over a 20-year period.

  • Hydrology and pollutant removal in detention ponds typical of the lower coastal plain of South Carolina. Erik Smith, University of South Carolina. Investigators will determine the performance of stormwater ponds typical to coastal South Carolina in respect to their hydrology and their ability to remove or retain nitrogen, phosphorus, sediments, and bacterial pathogens.

  • Evaluating wetland function in -coastal South Carolina to support low impact development (LID) decision-making. Daniel Hitchcock, Clemson University. Researchers will investigate various functions of natural and engineered wetland systems in the South Carolina coastal plain for stormwater quantity and quality management in order to determine suitability of infiltration and retention practices.

  • Development and validation of a novel molecular tool to rapidly detect and quantify harmful algal bloom (HAB) species linked with fish kills and public health concerns. Dianne Greenfield, University of South Carolina. Researchers propose to develop and apply a novel, cost- and time-efficient genetic tool, Sandwich Hybridization Assay (SHA), which would enable water-quality managers to rapidly detect and quantify harmful algal bloom (HAB) species associated with coastal fish kills and toxin production.

  • Particle contamination: Direct effects on salt marsh-tidal creek organisms and indirect effects on the bioavailability and toxicity of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Stephen Klaine, Clemson University. Researchers will quantify the direct effects of anthropogenic particulate contaminants on aquatic invertebrates and characterize the influence of these particles on the bioavailability and toxicity of a model organic contaminant, fluoranthene.

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence and its magnification in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Charles Lovell, University of South Carolina. Scientists will study whether selection within oysters, combined with high environmental temperatures and exposure of oysters at low tide, can result in increased V. parahaemolyticus population sizes and potential for transmission of virulent strains.

Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities

  • Wind and rain resistant design for coastal cross-laminated timber buildings. Scott Schiff, Clemson University. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), an emergent building system, has the potential to enhance the resiliency of coastal structures, but little is known about the performance characteristics in a humid subtropical climate. Scientists will create a method to determine the design wind loads for particular CLT structures.

Consortium hires Lovelace as assistant director for development and extension

Susan Lovelace, Ph.D., has joined the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium as its assistant director for development and extension. Previously she was manager of the Human Dimensions Research Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Marine Laboratory.

She will lead the Consortium’s Sea Grant Extension Program, work with the executive director on program development efforts, and assist with overall management of the agency.  

Susan earned a Ph.D. in coastal resource management at East Carolina University, a B.S. in science education also at East Carolina University, and a B.S. in zoology at North Carolina State University.

For over two decades, Susan has sought to understand the role of natural resources in public well-being as well as the complexity of information flow in local resource decision-making. She will lead the Consortium’s efforts to assess the information needs of the agency’s diverse stakeholders, and provide them with science-based information, tools, and guidance to inform their decision-making.

“We are very pleased to have Susan join the Consortium,” says Rick DeVoe, executive director. “Susan’s training and experience in the social sciences and her real-world experiences will provide immediate value to the Consortium’s extension program, to our stakeholders, and to the agency as a whole.”

Susan can be contacted at (843) 953-2075 or

Consortium’s stormwater pond research featured on National Sea Grant website

Four S.C. Sea Grant Consortium-funded scientists studying stormwater ponds are featured on the National Sea Grant College Program’s (NSGCP) website. The scientists represent The Citadel, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, and S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Stormwater ponds are considered a best management practice in South Carolina for reducing and filtering surface-water runoff. There are more than 14,000 storm-water ponds in the coastal region, and scientists have raised some questions about how these ponds function in coastal watersheds. Studies include mapping stormwater ponds, analyzing contaminants and nutrients, documenting algal blooms, water quality, and responding to fish kills, and determining the seasonal and rainfall event-based mechanics of water budgets and stream flow. For more information about Consortium research and outreach, visit

Turner elected chair of sustainability network

 April Turner, coastal communities specialist with the S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program, has been elected chair of the National Sea Grant Sustainable Coastal Communities Development Network (SCCD) for 2014-2015.

The duties of the chair are to set the agendas for executive committee meetings, facilitate at these meetings and at the annual national meeting, and be the face of SCCD before the Sea Grant Network. The chair will represent the SCCD Network at national meetings and any other forum in which a SCCD Network representative is needed or invited.

The primary purpose of the SCCD Network is to act as an information resource for extension and research professionals within the National Sea Grant College Program who work within the Resilient Communities and Economies focus area, facilitate collaboration among the state Sea Grant SCCD programs, provide training opportunities to professionals within the SCCD Network, and represent the interests of the SCCD Network to the National Sea Grant Office, Sea Grant Association, and the Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders.

For more information, contact April at (843) 953-2078 or april.

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Last updated: 6/5/2014 11:12:04 AM
News & Notes – Spring 2014


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