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SC Sea Grant Consortium
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FY13-14 – Sustainable Coastal Development and Economy
 

SUSTAINABLE COASTAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMY
IMPACTS


Statewide Economic Output and Employment Multipliers of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium are Documented
PI: Rick DeVoe, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE: The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), an independent state agency, was created in 1978 by the state of South Carolina to manage and administer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant College Program for South Carolina and adjacent regions that share a common heritage. The SCSGC actively participates in coastal and ocean research and outreach, the development of formal and informal education and communication programs, the collaboration of universities and research facilities, the acquisition and management of competitive funding, and the leveraging of each project partner’s resources. Through these activities, millions of dollars are injected annually into local communities throughout South Carolina and into North Carolina and Georgia as well. They also contribute to the health of South Carolina’s coastal- and ocean-based industries, such as recreation and tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture, by informing decision-makers on issues related to the use and conservation of beachfront properties and other coastal resources. 

RESPONSE: In 2013, the SCSGC commissioned a study by the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC to quantify the total economic impact of the agency in South Carolina, as well as in North Carolina and Georgia. The economic impact of the SCSGC was measured in three specific ways: (1) through the creation of new jobs, income, and overall economic activity that the SCSGC brings to the state through the acquisition of federal funding; (2) through the creation and management of volunteer services that would otherwise have to be paid for by or within the state of South Carolina; and (3) through the creation of independent spinoff organizations and workforce training programs. 

RESULTS: The SCSGC’s total economic impact of $8.9 million in South Carolina is associated with a statewide output multiplier of 1.6.  In other words, for every one hundred non-state dollars spent by activities associated with the SCSGC, an additional sixty dollars in economic activity, on average, is generated elsewhere in the state.  In addition, the employment multiplier associated with SCSGC activities geared towards research and development is estimated to be 2.1. This means for every 10 jobs created directly by the SCSGC in marine and coastal research, on average, an additional 11 jobs are created elsewhere in South Carolina.

RECAP: The SCSGC’s total economic impact of $8.9 million in South Carolina is associated with a statewide output multiplier of 1.6. The employment multiplier associated with SCSGC activities geared towards research and development is estimated to be 2.1. 


Total Economic Impact of the Programs and Activities of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is Documented
PI: Rick DeVoe, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE: The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), an independent state agency, was created in 1978 by the state of South Carolina to manage and administer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant College Program for South Carolina and adjacent regions that share a common heritage. The SCSGC actively participates in coastal and ocean research and outreach, the development of formal and informal education and communication programs, the collaboration of universities and research facilities, the acquisition and management of competitive funding, and the leveraging of each project partner’s resources. Through these activities, millions of dollars are injected annually into local communities throughout South Carolina and into North Carolina and Georgia as well. They also contribute to the health of South Carolina’s coastal- and ocean-based industries, such as recreation and tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture, by informing decision-makers on issues related to the use and conservation of beachfront properties and other coastal resources. 

RESPONSE: In 2013, the SCSGC commissioned a study by the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC to quantify the total economic impact of the SCSGC in South Carolina, as well as in North Carolina and Georgia. The economic impact of the SCSGC was measured in three specific ways: (1) through the creation of new jobs, income, and overall economic activity that the SCSGC brings to the state through the acquisition of federal funding; (2) through the creation and management of volunteer services that would otherwise have to be paid for by or within the state of South Carolina; and (3) through the creation of independent spinoff organizations and workforce training programs. 

RESULTS: The total annual economic impact of the SCSGC on the state of South Carolina was $8.9 million for FY11-12. This is the dollar value that represents the total value of all goods and services associated (either directly or indirectly) with the economic activities of the SCSGC.  This impact corresponds to nearly $2.8 million in labor income for South Carolinians. In the tri-state region comprised of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, the total economic impact increases to $11.5 million, which is associated with $3.8 million in labor income.

RECAP: The total annual economic impact of the SCSGC on the state of South Carolina was $8.9 million for FY11-12, and $11.5 million in the immediate region.



Total Return-on-Investment of the Programs and Activities of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is Documented
PI: Rick DeVoe, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE: The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC), an independent state agency, was created in 1978 by the state of South Carolina to manage and administer the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant College Program for South Carolina and adjacent regions that share a common heritage. The SCSGC actively participates in coastal and ocean research and outreach, the development of formal and informal education and communication programs, the collaboration of universities and research facilities, the acquisition and management of competitive funding, and the leveraging of each project partner’s resources. Through these activities, millions of dollars are injected annually into local communities throughout South Carolina and into North Carolina and Georgia as well. They also contribute to the health of South Carolina’s coastal- and ocean-based industries, such as recreation and tourism, fisheries, and aquaculture, by informing decision-makers on issues related to the use and conservation of beachfront properties and other coastal resources. 

RESPONSE: In 2013, the SCSGC commissioned a study by the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC to quantify the total economic impact of the SCSGC in South Carolina, as well as in North Carolina and Georgia. The economic impact of the SCSGC was measured in three specific ways: (1) through the creation of new jobs, income, and overall economic activity that the SCSGC brings to the state through the acquisition of federal funding; (2) through the creation and management of volunteer services that would otherwise have to be paid for by or within the state of South Carolina; and (3) through the creation of independent spinoff organizations and workforce training programs. 

RESULTS: A return-on-investment (ROI) analysis comparing the total (direct plus economic multiplier effects) net increase in spending activity across South Carolina generated or supported by the activities of the SCSGC to the state appropriations provided by the state of South Carolina yields an ROI of 2,679 percent. This implies that every dollar appropriated to the SCSGC by the state of South Carolina generates or supports, on average, an additional twenty-six dollars in economic output for the state.

RECAP: A return-on-investment (ROI) analysis comparing the total (direct plus economic multiplier effects) net increase in spending activity across South Carolina generated or supported by the activities of the SCSGC to the state appropriations provided by the state of South Carolina yields an ROI of 2,679 percent.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Developing a Low Impact Development Manual for Coastal South Carolina
PI: April Turner, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE: Many coastal decision-makers lack the expertise, guidance, and resources to implement low impact development (LID) techniques for mitigating stormwater impacts. Development of an LID document that is specific to coastal South Carolina will provide guidance on overcoming barriers to implementing LID best practices.

RESPONSE: The Consortium, teamed up with the ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) and the Center for Watershed Protection on a $329,943 NERR Science Collaborative grant to advance the practice of LID in South Carolina. An interdisciplinary group of stakeholders and outreach specialists are engaged in a process to design a coastal LID manual that is responsive to the needs of the intended users, will act as a resource for effective planning and decision-making, and is appropriate for current and future landscape and climate conditions.

RESULTS: The project team has organized stakeholder workshops, research roundtables, and provided technical assistance with manual development. The manual, currently in draft form, provides an overview of LID terminology and an overview of LID benefits; outlines federal, state, and local stormwater regulations and offers regulatory and planning strategies for LID implementation; covers conservation principles, neighborhood site design considerations, and landscaping practices; identifies specifications for LID storwmater BMPs; and highlights case studies from the region. Future efforts will focus on integration of climate change predictions into BMP design and guidance; and trainings on use of the manual for coastal communities.

RECAP: The SC Sea Grant Consortium responded to stakeholder needs by collaborating with partners to develop a comprehensive, low impact development (LID) guidance manual. The manual, under final revisions, will be distributed to communities and municipalities, and training on its use will be made available. 


Consortium Supports Formal Participation of Six Grand Strand Coastal Communities at National StormCon Conference
PI: April Turner, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE:
The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is working with local stormwater managers to integrate better stormwater practices and policies at the community level. Through sharing lessons they have learned they become the teachers and share a knowledge base of best practices with other coastal communities, while gaining a different appreciation for their efforts.

RESPONSE: The Consortium, through its Sustainable Coastal Communities Initiative Mini-grant Program, provided support to staff of six South Carolina coastal communities (Horry County, Georgetown County, City of North Myrtle Beach, City of Myrtle Beach, City of Conway, Town of Surfside Beach) to formally participate in the 2013 StormCon, a large national stormwater conference held in Myrtle Beach.

RESULTS: Staff from the six coastal communities were able to formally participate in a panel session and mobile workshop tour which highlighted Grand Strand stormwater management activities on the national stage. The panel focused on how locals came together to build a cooperative educational outreach program from scratch that eventually led to the development of a water quality monitoring and research program. The group also hosted a bus tour of low impact development (LID) stormwater devices that have been installed throughout the region in an effort to improve water quality. Staff are now working with their respective local governments to train additional staff on stormwater techniques learned at the conference and to implement innovative stormwater LID practices in their communities.

RECAP: The SC Sea Grant Consortium enabled staff from six coastal communities to formally participate in a panel session and mobile workshop tour to highlight Grand Strand stormwater management activities on the national stage at StormCon.


SC Sea Grant Develops, Fosters and Uses STEM-Based Wind Energy Curricula at Local Schools
PI: Michael Slattery, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium


RELEVANCE: In the state of South Carolina, a legislative committee was established in 2008 to review the potential for offshore and coastal wind energy development.  S.C. Bill S. 1011 mandates that state regulations should encourage electrical utilities to invest in offshore wind research and development. The City of North Myrtle Beach, as a leading community for the establishment of offshore wind energy, installed federally funded educational turbines targeted at the general public but missed an opportunity to expand education on energy local schools, which would connect young people in the community with active research being undertaken in their community and help expand the concept of future potential employment paths for K-12 audiences. More recently a legislative bill (S. 1011) was introduced that would mandate an investment in offshore wind research and development, potentially paving the way for growth of a new industry requiring new employee skill sets. 

RESPONSE: The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC) staff developed Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-based curricula that utilized wind energy production data, wind technology and information on current energy use within South Carolina as a format to discuss larger energy concerns that include the potential growth of the offshore wind industry. The curricula integrated the wind energy information into current S.C. state educational curricula themes including: forms of energy, energy use, and weather and climate for middle school and high school students.  A pilot program in Socastee High School reaching approximately 100 high school students allowed for feedback to correctly adjust the curricula to better align with content being covered in local schools and gauge interest student interest in the topic.

RESULTS: The modified curriculum was administered by the SCSGC to the entire 6th grade of North Myrtle Beach Middle School (approximately 400 students). The curricula was highlighted at the Horry County school district’s science teachers training in August 2013 and subsequently presented at North Myrtle Beach High School reaching an additional 100 students. Continued efforts of SCSGC entail aligning the curricula to the South Carolina state science learning objective standards and expanding into more schools.

RECAP:  The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium has developed, piloted and implemented curriculum adaptable to middle school and high school titled Energy in South Carolina, with a focus on state-lead research and policy regarding development of offshore wind energy. The implementation has reached more than 30 Horry County teachers and approximately 500 students.


Assessing Residents’ Social-Ecological Relationships and Environmental Values in South Carolina
PI: Annette Watson, College of Charleston


RELEVANCE: Recently released census data affirms that South Carolina is experiencing some of the highest rates of in-migration in the United States, concentrated along the coast. Many of these migrants come from cities across the country to enjoy the amenities of rural landscapes, especially the environmental amenities and the “sense of place” that comes from a coastal lifestyle. “Sense of place” refers to a person’s knowledge, perceptions, and values of specific locations, and their philosophy about the relationships between nature and society. First understanding the relationships long-term residents have within their landscapes will allow those places and senses of place to be best protected by decision-makers. This becomes more urgent each year, as demands on the Lowcountry’s natural and economic resources increase.

RESPONSE: Sea Grant researchers from the College of Charleston and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Hollings Marine Laboratory are assessing the social-ecological relationships in Awendaw, McClellanville, and Mt. Pleasant, three South Carolina coastal communities in various stages of development. To do this they are (1) examining) the ways that long-term residents economically relate to the environment, (2) defining the “sense of place” and the local environmental knowledge that is derived from this interaction, (3) testing the extent to which their environmental values coincide with that of the newer amenity migrants, and (4) exploring a socio-economic index for monitoring these communities in the future.

RESULTS: Initial results suggest that direct consumption of coastal resources, such as commercial or subsistence fishing, characterizes the relationship between long-term residents’ economic practices and their environmental values. A GIS database measuring access to resources exploring both current and traditional access places has been presented to community leaders so that communities might consider restoring access to the water needed to protect cultural practices. The project investigators used a quantitative technique to assess the environmental impacts that constituents are willing to allow for the economic growth that comes with development.  The importance of preservation, intervention in growth and limited regulation of economic growth were factors considered important to respondents.  Results of an assessment of publicly available socioeconomic and environmental quality data provided indicators that can be used to monitor basic well-being of residents over time.
                 
RECAP: Social-ecological research sponsored by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is providing decision-makers with maps that show places important for traditional fishing activities, an assessment of the attitudes of water-dependent residents toward community development, and indicators that can be used on the local level to assess changes in well-being over time as small traditional coastal communities transition in times of rapid growth.


Aerating Stormwater Ponds Shown Not to be Effective in Eliminating Hypoxic and Anoxic Conditions
PI: Erik Smith, University of South Carolina


RELEVANCE:
Increasing urbanization of the SC coastal zone has led to the proliferation of stormwater detention ponds. While these ponds are effective at minimizing localized flooding, they are generally ineffective at removing the high nutrient loads associated with residential area runoff. As a result, stormwater ponds accumulate nutrients that stimulate excessive phytoplankton growth, which results in high concentrations of organic matter, especially dissolved organic carbon. Quantifying the magnitude and fate of organic matter is critical to determining the influence of stormwater ponds on coastal water quality impairment.  Key in this regard is the impact that various land uses and current management practices for stormwater ponds have on pond algal productivity and bioavailability of pond-derived organic carbon and nitrogen.  In addition, chemical treatments are often expensive and the burden of homeowner’s associations and homeowners residing in neighborhoods with these ponds.

RESPONSE: Sea Grant research is underway to assess the effects of aeration on water quality dynamics in stormwater detention ponds. Diffuser-type aerators were installed in one randomly selected pond from each of two pairs, leaving an unaerated control pond in each pair. Data on the following components were collected 15 times over the year: phytoplankton growth and community composition, concentrations and bioavailability of dissolved oxygen content, and nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations and forms.

RESULTS: Pre-aerator installation data collection revealed that all four sites showed distinct stratification and hypoxic to anoxic conditions in bottom waters. As expected, aerated ponds showed similar surface and bottom water oxygen conditions, consistent with complete mixing of pond waters. Despite these physical effects, aeration had little to no significant effect on overall pond water quality. While phytoplankton species composition and particulate organic carbon concentrations are still being analyzed, it is not expected that aeration will significantly impact these measure either. Aeration has not been shown to be either a supplement or alternative to chemical treatments for controlling pond water quality.

RECAP: Research demonstrated that while aeration was capable of preventing stratification and associated hypoxic or anoxic conditions in stormwater ponds, this did not translate into measurable improvements in any other water quality conditions, eliminating aeration as a potentially less-expensive and –invasive method for improving water quality. 


Understanding demand for value-added products and services associated with for-hire boat trips on the South Carolina (SC) coast
PIs: Robert Brookover and Laura Jodice, Clemson University


RELEVANCE: Recreational charter fishing boat operators on the SC coast provide access to offshore waters, but increasingly they have had to adapt to higher fuel costs, regulatory limitations, competition, and customers seeking lower prices.  A promising strategy may be augmenting their trips with new or expanded experiences such as interpretation of fish ecology, marine resource management, local history or even offshore energy development.  SC coastal tourists are interested in guided nature and historical tours, but it is not know whether anglers and/or non-anglers would be more attracted to offshore trips with these experiences, or whether charter operators currently offer these amenities to any degree. 

RESPONSE: Sea Grant researchers interviewed charter captains with a SC charter license during the summer of 2012. Some charter captains were providing trips to non-anglers and were flexible to different consumer interests, while some were reluctant to add services with time or financial costs. The results of these interviews led to development of a consumer mail survey targeting 1,500 anglers and 977 coastal tourists. Respondents evaluated two types of trips with different attributes (onboard amenities, nearby or onshore tourism activities, quality of captain and crew, etc.) and indicated which trip they preferred.

RESULTS: There was an overall response rate of 24.1% (18.1% anglers and 33.3% coastal tourists). Anglers preferred value-added services related to fishing, though placed value on more general services, while non-anglers preferred more general value-added services such as conservation education. Analysis on the gap between capacity of charter operators to provide value-added products and services and consumer preferences for particular products and services is in progress.

RECAP: Both coastal tourists and anglers expressed preferences for attributes related to their sector interests in examining value-added products and services associated with for-hire boat trips; however, anglers also gave weight to non-fishing attributes.


Improved Green Infrastructure Design for Stormwater Management in Coastal South Carolina
PI: Anand Jayakaran, Clemson University


RELEVANCE:
An improved understanding of hydrological and ecological mechanisms to help achieve infrastructure design targets for stormwater volume and flow reduction, including soil and vegetation characteristics, is necessary for coastal areas. Anticipated changes to the NPDES Phase II permit requirements both nationwide and within South Carolina are moving toward volume- and infiltration-based strategies in addition to the current requirements where post-development peak flows must at least equal those of pre-development. Minimal information exists about the hydrologic function and performance of vegetative systems in landscapes with shallow water tables where surface and groundwater interactions are prevalent.  Research is needed to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of these stormwater practices in water quantity reduction and water quality improvement in the managed landscape. 

RESPONSE: Consortium researchers initiated this effort to provide a scientific basis allowing for improved recommendations toward enhanced ecological function with the managed landscape with the overarching goal of water quantity management and water quality improvement. Five sites that reflect green infrastructure design practices in coastal SC are being assessed for ecohydrological function. All five locations were fitted with appropriate instrumentation, and ground water, soil moisture, and rainfall have been measured over a year-and-a-half period. Soil cores were extracted from each bioretention cell, and response to rainfall events are being characterized using soil moisture sensors and water table level logging transducers. 

RESULTS: Efficient and reproducible methods to quantify water elevation and soil moisture in bioretention sites have been developed, methods that can be easily adopted at similar sites across the state. Additionally, efficient algorithms were developed to filter noise from soil moisture data that typically tend to have high signal to noise ratios. Currently under development are tools to better quantify the temporal dynamics of ground water data that are often characterized by distinct seasonal, within-storm, and diurnal dynamics.

RECAP: Sea Grant-developed tools to quantify water elevation and soil moisture, filter noise from soil moisture data, and quantify temporal dynamics of ground water data will enable state and local-level stormwater managers meet requirements resulting from anticipated changes to the NPDES Phase II permit requirements both nationwide and within South Carolina.


Consortium-Supported Research Indicates Interest in Establishment of a Cooperative SC Seafood Trail
PIs: Robert Brookover and Laura Jodice, Clemson University


RELEVANCE: South Carolina offers unique experiences related to seafood harvest and production, maritime history and culture of fishing, marine fisheries ecology, and seafood culinary interests. South Carolina’s coastal tourists are supportive of sustainability initiatives for local marine-resource dependent businesses. A seafood-themed drive trail could be an incubator for entrepreneurship and create more opportunities for marketing local seafood products through a unified brand image. While other theme-based trails exist in the region, there has been no assessment of the potential for a South Carolina seafood trail and related capacity for this type of business incubator.

RESPONSE: Thirty-one interviews were conducted in the Berkeley and Charleston county region to determine interest and feasibility of a seafood trail. Information on 106 businesses from a variety of sectors (including, but not limited to, ecotourism operators, seafood harvesters, festivals, museums/aquariums, and restaurants) was collected for preparation of a visualization tool to elucidate related activity clusters that may be suitable for inclusion in a SC Seafood Trail.

RESULTS: Using the business information collected, a GIS map is under development to visualize clusters of activity a seafood trail might highlight, 74% of which are wholesale or retail seafood businesses or restaurants. While the interview results indicated significant support for a trail, two critical issues arose. The first was ensuring the use of local seafood through a validation protocol. The second was establishing stakeholder-based leadership of the effort. Two to three coastal stakeholder workshops are pending, which will help to address these issues.

RECAP: Consortium research indicates broad stakeholder support for the establishment of a cooperative seafood tourism trail throughout coastal South Carolina, as long as use of local seafood and stakeholder-based leadership are ensured; a GIS-based visualization of seafood businesses for possible inclusion in a South Carolina seafood trail will be used to facilitate development of this trail through stakeholder workshops.


Last updated: 9/28/2015 11:35:02 AM
FY13-14 – Sustainable Coastal Development and Economy

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