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Examples of Our Work

The S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program partners with Consortium member institutions, other Sea Grant programs, S.C. natural resource agencies, and others to deliver science-based, problem-solving educational programs to South Carolina coastal communities.

Coastal Communities

Connected Land Conservation Plan for the East Cooper Region of Charleston County, S.C.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, East Cooper Land Trust, and College of Charleston received a $20,000 Green Infrastructure technical assistance grant from the S.C. Forestry Commission to develop the Connected Land Conservation Plan for the East Cooper Region of Charleston County.

The project team partnered with the communities of Mount Pleasant, City of Charleston (for Daniel Island and Cainhoy), Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Awendaw, McClellanville, and Charleston County. The six mayors of this region signed a memorandum of agreement in support of this natural asset planning project.

The project team synthesized technical knowledge regarding urban and regional planning, landscape architecture, and ecology, as well as organized workshops to gather input from the mayors and planning staff to develop a land conservation plan. The purpose of the plan was to provide a regional perspective of local development patterns and natural resources in the area between the Cooper and Santee rivers.

S.C. Coastal Community Initiative Grant Program

The S.C. Coastal Community Initiative Grant Program (CCI) is a collaborative land-use planning and water quality program for local decision makers to help foster sustainable land use planning and resource management. This small grants program provides an incentive to engage local governments in the development and implementation of “quality growth” land management policies and practices.

Proposals are solicited from coastal municipalities and counties to participate and recipients of the award received a $2,500 grant to help leverage further support and funding. Recipients of these CCI mini grant awards have addressed a variety of issues related to stormwater runoff and water quality management, open space preservation, alternative transportation and greenway pedestrian/biking access, and natural resource-based planning.

S.C. Coastal Information Network

The South Carolina Coastal Information Network includes federal and state agencies, regional government agencies and private organizations seeking to coordinate and/or jointly deliver outreach programs.

The purpose of this collaboration is to avoid duplication of efforts and minimize the number of meetings/workshops that community leaders and staff are asked to attend, leverage scarce resources, maximize program benefits and expected outcomes.

Coastal Environmental Quality

S.C. Stormwater Pond Research and Management Collaborative

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium convened the S.C. Stormwater Pond Research and Management Collaborative to further investigate and address the challenges associated with stormwater ponds in our coastal areas. Read More >

S.C. Task Group on Harmful Algae

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium formed the S.C. Task Group on Harmful Algae in 1997 in response to Pfiesteria and other harmful algal blooms along the Carolina coast. The task group holds workshops on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and best management practices (BMPs) to aid in minimizing the presence of HABs in our coastal waters.

Target audiences include scientists, educators, regulators, water quality specialists, extension agents, ponds managers, and property owners. Information presented includes background information on HAB ecology and toxicology, as well as guidance on BMP strategies to reduce the potential for HABs.

Regional Stormwater Education Consortia

The regional stormwater education consortium concept connects education providers with potential cooperators for efficient and effective NPDES Phase II compliance. Specifically, the MS4 (municipal separate stormwater sewer systems) communities can look to a consortium for assistance to meet the public outreach component under permit requirements.

For example, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium has partnered with Clemson Extension , Coastal Carolina University’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy , the North Inlet-Winyah Bay (NI-WB) , National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) , Coastal Training Program (CTP) , the Waccamaw Riverkeeper , and Murrell’s Inlet , to form the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium (CWSEC) .

Coastal Climate and Resilience

Susceptibility of Public Health Impacts from Flooded Water, Wastewater and Public Health Infrastructure

Focusing specifically on water and wastewater infrastructure, this project assessed vulnerability to extreme events and rising sea levels by identifying the populations most susceptible to public health risks from infrastructure failure due to flooding.

With input from municipal managers, health system managers, water utility specialists, health care experts, state agency managers, and others, the project developed a two-stage Susceptibility Index. The pilot projects, conducted in two locations, Charleston, S.C. and Morehead City, N.C., allowed the researchers to test the assessment in differently sized communities.

The project group developed an assessment tool and manual to allow other communities to conduct similar assessments.

Read more about the project >

Our Coastal Future Forum

This project explored a new process to include citizens, natural resource managers, scientists, and government officials in a supportive setting to discuss the coastal future of South Carolina.

Deliberative discussion was used to bridge the sometimes opposing opinions on environmental issues. The project was guided by a panel of scientific experts and a panel of community leaders to assure that the science and issues are on-point for our coastal areas.

Read more about the project >

Cities of Beaufort/Port Royal Community-Based Sea Level Rise Task Force

Citizens of Beaufort and Port Royal recognized the long-term threat that rising seas pose to the health and well-being of their community. They formed a sea-level rise task force to help guide the community to become more resilient to future sea level rise and thus protect their coastal economy.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with CISA, provided the professional support for the Task Force to help guide the information collection and planning process.