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Consortium Receives $1.33M for Sea Grant Activities

Mar 25, 2014

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.

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.