Updates from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium - Issue 36

March 1, 2023

Matt Gorstein

Gorstein Elected to Sea Grant Extension Executive Committee

Matt Gorstein, assistant director for Development and Extension, was elected as secretary-treasurer for the Sea Grant Extension Assembly Executive Committee, serving a three-year term.

In this role, Gorstein will keep track of the Assembly budget and ensure all accounts are in good standing; update the Assembly staff directory; record meeting minutes at monthly Executive Committee meetings and regular Assembly meetings; identify action items which result from the meetings; and participate in Assembly decision-making.

Boat spraying dredge material onto a salt marsh

Consortium Awarded $500K to Study Feasibility of Applying Dredge Material to Marsh


The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium was recently awarded nearly $500,000 over four years from a joint grant competition of the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program and U.S. Coastal Research Program to develop an assessment framework on the benefits and feasibility of Thin Layer Placement (TLP) in South Carolina.

TLP, also known as marsh nourishment, is a process where sediment from dredging is transported and applied in a thin layer to the marsh surface. TLP can be a beneficial restoration technique used by engineers and coastal managers to increase marsh resilience to sea-level rise and storms. The project team includes Consortium staff, as well as scientists at S.C. Department of Natural Resources, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, and Louisiana State University.

Outreach products will include a story map for the general public that highlights the various findings; educational content for K-12 schools about coastal wetland economic services; a comprehensive decision-support framework for agencies and communities; and an online support tool to guide decision-making that maximizes socio-ecological well-being related to coastal zone management decisions. This project also could serve as a demonstration guide for other marsh environments in the Southeast. For more information, contact Katie Finegan, Coastal Processes program specialist, at (843) 349-5017.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern are Focus of $400K Grant to Consortium

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and the National Sea Grant Law Center are collaborating on a $411,148 grant to create a competitive research program in the Southeast focused on the influence of climate change on contaminants of emerging concern (CEC)


CECs—such as pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, and microfibers—are increasingly detected in drinking and surface waters, including streams, rivers, estuaries, and oceans, posing health risks to humans and wildlife. The three-year project, funded by the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program, will support the development of a research network that improves understanding of both documented and undocumented CECs and enhances stakeholder outreach to communities in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.


Hailey Connell, CEC graduate assistant with the Consortium, is conducting an analysis of existing research, publications, and monitoring efforts in the Southeast region pertaining to environmental contaminants. The National Sea Grant Law Center is gathering information on state regulations and policies that inform management of these contaminants. A diverse advisory committee will guide development of priority needs, from which a request for proposals will be released by the Consortium in year two of the project. Contact Brooke Saari, Coastal Environmental Quality program specialist, at (843) 953-6406 for more information.

Blue Carbon Law Symposium logo

Blue Carbon Law Symposium Scheduled for May 17-18, 2023

Registration is now open for the inaugural Sea Grant Blue Carbon Law Symposium to be held in Athens, Georgia, on May 17-18, 2023. The symposium will highlight the connections between blue carbon science, policy, and law, and explore impacts of this rapidly evolving field on communities, businesses, governments, resource managers, and other stakeholders.

Blue carbon systems are natural coastal habitats, such as salt marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, that are able to capture and store atmospheric carbon. Investing in blue carbon systems protects these habitats and surrounding coastal communities and helps mitigate some climate change impacts, including sea-level rise and worsening storm surge.


Topics the symposium will cover include the legal and policy context of carbon credit markets and how blue carbon fits within these markets; the state-of-knowledge of blue carbon science; specific blue carbon projects being developed in the U.S. and internationally; and challenges, barriers, and social equity needs of successful blue carbon projects. For more information, contact Brita Jessen, Interdisciplinary Research and Partnership lead, at (843) 953-6417.

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