S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Science and Management Advances

Forested Wetlands of the Upper Estuary

March 5–7, 2023 — Charleston, South Carolina

About the Conference

This conference highlights tidal freshwater forested wetlands as distinct and critical transition ecosystems, particularly in the southeastern U.S. Conference participants will discuss environmental change and monitoring, societal values, ecological properties, carbon storage, and management options.

Freshwater and low-salinity forested wetlands occur in tidal reaches of rivers around the world. Though often overlooked, these systems provide important ecological services and human benefits with opportunities for management interventions in a dynamic and changing environment.


Participants of this meeting will enhance their knowledge of recent and projected changes to tidally-influenced forested wetlands (TFWs) and build an understanding of the perspectives and information needs from stakeholders and colleagues of diverse disciplines by:


Compiling a state-of-knowledge for TFW systems, ecosystem services, and nature-based provisions within the southeast region.


Benefiting from community perspectives on ecological services and cultural identities tied to this resource.


Sharing insights from cross-system comparisons of management actions for TFWs across the U.S. and other countries.


Learning about decision-management frameworks, including Resist-Accept-Direct, and methods to include stakeholder perspectives to co-produce solutions.


We welcome: Social and natural researchers and students; federal, state, tribal, and private land managers; restoration practitioners; and invested community decision-makers and stakeholders.

Dates and Location

March 5-6, 2024 Science and Management Advances at the Rita Hollings Science Center, College of Charleston, S.C.

March 5, 2024 Evening social at the South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, S.C.

March 7, 2024 Special workshop on management decision-making at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Georgetown, S.C. To ensure a robust facilitated discussion format on this day, attendance is limited.

A tidal forest wetland stream.
Tupelo trees with grass underneath.


Tuesday March 5, 2024

Rita Hollings Science Center, College of Charleston, S.C.

9:30 am Registration
10:00 am to 4:30 pm

Presentations (lunch provided)

Themes: Status and change of tidal freshwater forested wetlands; community ecological knowledge; international perspectives; new tools and technologies to measure system-wide changes

5:30 pm Keynote (in partnership with the South Carolina Aquarium Holland Lecture Series)
6:30 to 8:00 pm Reception at South Carolina Aquarium with poster presentations

Wednesday March 6, 2024

Rita Hollings Science Center, College of Charleston, S.C.

9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Presentations (lunch provided)

Themes: Ecosystem services and trade-offs; carbon pools and productivity; impacts to local hydrology and water quality; introduction to management frameworks

Thursday March 7, 2024

Special Workshop on Management Practices
Georgetown, S.C.


7:30 am Chartered bus from Charleston to Georgetown, S.C.
9:00 am to 4:30 pm Training on Resist-Direct-Accept by Scott Covington, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Discussion of collaborative decision-making and applying RAD frameworks, including equitable community engagement, co-production, targets for restoration, and planning for adaptation (lunch provided).
4:30 to 6:00 pm Chartered bus to Charleston, S.C.
A creek with a distant bridge, trees line the bank.

Huger Creek Landing at Low Tide. Photo Credit: Carl Trettin.

Planning Committee

Tim Callahan

Tim Callahan

College of Charleston

Jamie Duberstein

Jamie Duberstein

Clemson University

Amanda Guthrie

Amanda Guthrie

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Brita Jessen

Brita Jessen

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Ken Krauss

Ken Krauss

U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Carl Trettin

Carl Trettin

U.S. Forest Service

Planing Committee Advisors

Cheryl Cail – Waccamaw Indian People

Sara McDonald – South Carolina Aquarium

Craig Sasser – Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge


Thank you to our generous sponsors.

National Sea Grant
Clemson University Logo
College Of Charleston Logo
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

We welcome additional sponsorships to provide scholarships and travel assistance. If you are interested in being a conference sponsor contact Brita Jessen.

Abstract Submissions and Special Journal

Abstract submissions for oral or poster presentations will be accepted through December 12, 2023. Abstracts should be under 200 words and cannot include images.  The conference Steering Committee and advisors will review abstracts for content and send notifications by January 23, 2024. All attempts will be made to accommodate presenters’ preferences and needs.

For this multi-disciplinary conference we highly encourage students and non-science professionals to consider presenting.

A special issue of Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science will be produced in association with this conference; however a separate abstract submission will be needed.


Registration will open early November, 2023 and close mid-February, 2024.

Financial assistance will be made available on a case-by-case basis as resources allow. Please contact Amanda Guthrie to request financial assistance.

Lodging and Transportation

Charleston International Airport (CHS) is approximately 25 minutes to downtown and is accessible through public ride sharing, taxi, or some hotel shuttles.

Hotels within walking distance to the College of Charleston:

Special Accommodations

We aim to ensure a welcoming and accessible conference for all participants. At registration you will be asked to provide information on health and safety needs and additional considerations. Please contact Brita Jessen if you have special accommodation needs.