S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Closeup of water waves sparkling in the sun.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) as new or existing chemicals/substances that may or may not have regulatory standards, are not currently included in routine monitoring programs, and/or have the possibility of adverse toxicology effects.

These include but are not limited to: perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), and nanomaterials. CECs are being detected at increasing levels in the environment, and are receiving attention as their total toxicity to humans and wildlife is not fully understood.

Regional Program Request for Proposals

In the Southeastern U.S., there is a growing need for interdisciplinary research regarding CECs, especially due to the rapid coastal change occurring in the region. The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and the National Sea Grant Law Center are leading a southeast regional research program focused on the influence of climate change on these CECs.

The geographical scope of this project is focused on South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and includes both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. We aim to support research that will address priorities defined through our literature gap analysis, legal scan, and advisory committee discussions. Interested teams of researchers, graduate students, and outreach professionals are encouraged to submit Letters of Intent by November 16, 2023, and full proposals by December 16, 2023.

Advisory Committee

Bill Strosnider – University of South Carolina, Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences

Ryann Rossi – St. Andrew & St. Joseph Bays Estuary Program, Florida State University Panama City

Chip Robinson – Georgia Interfaith Power and Light

Marilyn Hemmingway – Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Kline – Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division

Chaquetta Greene – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Environmental Justice Associate

Elizabeth Booth – Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch

Cheryl Cail – American Rivers

Lisa Fraley-McNeal – Center for Watershed Protection

Ed Wirth – NCCOS/Hollings Marine Lab

Lisa Krimsky – Florida Sea Grant

Ray Holberger – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Sue Ebanks – Savannah State University

Request for Proposals

Submit Letters of Intent by November 16, 2023, and full proposals by December 16, 2023.

Project Team

Brooke Saari
SCSGC Coastal Environmental Quality Program Specialist
(843) 953-6406

Katy Austin Smith
GASG Water Resources Specialist
(912) 262-3338

Catherine Marie Janasie
National Sea Grant Law Center Senior Research Counsel
(662) 915-7775

Stephanie Showalter-Otts
National Sea Grant Law Center Director
(662) 915-7775

Lola Renauer
SCSGC Contaminants of Emerging Concern Graduate Assistant
(843) 953-2078