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White egret wading.

Program Focus Area

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

The natural features of coastal South Carolina are diverse and striking, and include significant shoreline, tidal bottom, salt marsh, and freshwater wetland habitats. The coastline is characterized by more than 165 lineal miles of beaches and dotted with more than 40 barrier and sea islands.

How the Consortium Supports Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium supports research and outreach to generate and deliver science-based information and programs in response to the needs of local communities and decision-makers in the following areas:

  • Natural ocean processes such as tides and erosion.
  • The health and restoration of coastal and ocean ecosystems.
  • Changes in climate and weather patterns, and their impact.
  • Best management of stormwater ponds and other infrastructure.
  • Determining the ecological, economic, and social value of natural resources.
  • Monitoring water quality and water pollution.
  • Measuring impact of human activity on the coast and coastal waterways.
  • Minimizing the introduction, spread, and negative impacts of coastal and oceanic invasive species.
  • The long-term conservation and sustainable use of the coast’s natural resources.

Current Research and Outreach Projects

Every two years, the Consortium asks researchers to submit proposals for the funding provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the National Sea Grant College Program. Each project undergoes a rigorous peer review. The selected projects support critical research goals for our state and region.

Marsh in the evening at high tide.

Investigating How Microplastics Reach Coastal Waters

Research Project: Urban stormwater runoff as a source of microplastic and tire wear particles in coastal waterways: transport, cumulative impacts to biota, and mitigation

A research team from Clemson University, The Citadel, and College of Charleston is examining microplastics and tire debris in storm-sewer catch basins. They will be measuring the contribution of stormwater ponds in the movement of microplastics and how it could be minimized, and further studying the long-term responses of plants and animals in estuaries to microplastic exposure.

2020-2021 Impacts and Accomplishments

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s report of our successes in advancing healthy coastal ecosystems in coastal South Carolina.

Resources by Topic

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s published information and project results in areas related to healthy coastal ecosystems.