The SCSGEP Coastal Environmental Quality (CEQ) program works closely with state natural resource managers, community groups, scientists, universities, and decision-makers to help sustain our coastal environmental quality. This is accomplished by providing the users and managers of coastal resources with science-based information and tools to assist in ensuring that the environmental quality of the South Carolina coast is protected and enhanced. The SCSGEP CEQ program promotes environmental quality in coastal Carolina by developing flexible programs for every audience while providing a mechanism of delivery at every level. For more info, please contact Susan Lovelace.
Examples of How We Work:
The Coastal Home Assessment System (Coast-A-Syst) is a property owner-based program to help protect surface and ground water quality in coastal regions. This program engages homeowners in a voluntary and confidential home self-assessment. The program is designed so that the individual homeowner can better understand their environmental “footprint.” Coast-A-Syst is a spin-off of the highly successful nationwide Cooperative Extension Service programs, Farm-A-Syst and Home-A-Syst, the program is funded through a U.S. EPA grant under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Contact: Susan Lovelace
Harmful Algal Blooms and Coastal Pond BMPs
The SC 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. Contact: Susan Lovelace
Water Quality Education for Municipal Officials (SCNEMO)
South Carolina Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (SCNEMO) is an informational, educational, and technical assistance strategy for protecting local water quality by linking land use decisions with nonpoint source pollution. SCNEMO has been a successful mechanism for informing elected and appointed officials about the potential impacts of nonpoint source pollution. As of 2004, programs have been conducted in 27 of 46 SC counties (59%). Products that have been developed out of the program include the NEMO fact sheet series, the Taming Stormwater Toolbook, and several journal articles and conference proceedings. SCNEMO was originally funded through a U.S. EPA grant under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, while SC DHEC administered the original projects. Contacts: Susan Lovelace or April Turner
Additionally, Coastal Community Initiative grants, part of the Coastal Growth Initiative program, serves as a support framework for SCNEMO projects. Such funding recently supported projects in Bluffton and Edisto Beach, SC. As a provision of these grants, SCSGEP staff provided water quality education and technical assistance training to the local officials. The SCSGEP staff provided input and recommendations on best management practices (BMPs) for reducing polluted runoff from stormwater, including information on the newest types of pervious and semi-pervious surfaces and how address issues of erosion control, subdivision regulations, maintenance of roads and storm drains, open space plans, and buffer requirements. Contact: April Turner
Carolina Clear and Clearwater Contractor
The SCSGEP is a partner in a state-wide water quality team led by Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service (CES). State-wide programs for South Carolina developed and delivered through Clemson CES include the Carolina Clear and Clearwater Contractor programs. The SCSGEP CEQ program takes a leadership role in these state-wide programs in the eight coastal counties of South Carolina. The latest phase of Clemson’s state-wide Clearwater Contractor program is the development of certification and training programs for construction site inspectors of erosion prevention and sediment control and management practices known as CEPSCI. These trainings are preparations in response to the recent issuance of the Construction General permit, of which the CEPSCI trainings address the educational component for inspectors. For more information, visit the CEPSCI web page on Clemson’s CES web site, or contact Susan Lovelace.
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, the SCSGEP CEQ program has recently 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). The Stormwater Education Consortium provides education and outreach guidance for MS4 communities in Horry and Georgetown Counties. For more information, see the CWSEC web site at the NI-WB NERR CTP web site, or contact Susan Lovelace for more information about consortia opportunities in the coastal SC region.
The SC Clean Marina Initiative
The SCSGEP Coastal Environmental Quality program is collaborating with the SC Marine Association and SCDHEC-OCRM to develop a guidance document to assist marinas in protecting water quality from point and nonpoint pollution. Stay tuned for more information on this effort…
Please stay tuned for updated information on upcoming efforts and events, including stormwater wetland design workshops, stormwater best management practices (BMPs) manuals, and municipal wetland buffer ordinance guidance manuals. For more information, or to submit ideas, concerns, or questions regarding coastal environmental quality programs, please contact Susan Lovelace.