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SC Sea Grant Consortium
287 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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2017 Archived News Releases
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
October 13, 2017

RE: Volunteers Needed for Beach Sweep/River Sweep Oct. 21

Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2092 or

Charleston, S.C.— The coastal portion of 29th annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep, postponed in September because of the threat of Tropical Storm Irma, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Each year thousands of people volunteer for the Sweep, South Carolina’s largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches, marshes and waterways.

The inland Sweeps went ahead as planned in September, but coastal cleanups were put on hold as communities worked to remove major debris pushed ashore by Irma’s storm surge.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium partners with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to organize the statewide event, which is held in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs and businesses. Volunteers either organize their own cleanups at sites that are not already covered or they may sign up to assist at the cleanup locations listed on the websites below.

Last year over 4,100 dedicated volunteers removed nearly 24 tons of litter from the state’s beaches, marshes and waterways. The haul included a gas grill, several televisions, two bed frames, a tricycle and the front bumper of a car. In the cleanup’s 28-year history, 1,233 tons of litter have been collected, and much of it was recycled.

To participate in coastal counties, visit Beach Sweep/River Sweep for a list of site captains and locations covered or contact Susan Ferris Hill at (843) 953-2092 or

September 29, 2017

RE: S.C. Sea Grant Board of Directors Meeting Scheduled

Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2078 or

Charleston, S.C.—S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on October 10, 2017 in the Bernard Gordon Conference Room (room 108), Grimsley Hall, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, S.C. Items on the agenda include discussion of the agency’s FY2018-2019 state budget request; the Consortium’s recent achievements, emerging challenges and strategic directions; an update on the agency’s program performance, impacts and accomplishments; and discussion of the Consortium’s by-laws. Election of the next Consortium Board Chair will also be held.

The Consortium’s Board of Directors is composed of the chief executive officers of its eight member institutions. Current board members are: Dr. Harris Pastides, president of University of South Carolina (Board Chair); Dr. David A. DeCenzo, president of Coastal Carolina University; Dr. James P. Clements, president of Clemson University; Mr. Glenn F. McConnell, president of College of Charleston; Dr. David J. Cole, president of Medical University of South Carolina; Col. Alvin A. Taylor, director of S.C. Department of Natural Resources; Mr. James E. Clark, president of S.C. State University; and Lt. General John W. Rosa, president of The Citadel.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
August 10, 2017

RE: Our Coastal Future Forum Set for October 20-21
Joey Holleman, (843) 953-2090 or
Charleston, S.C. – The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium invites coastal South Carolina residents to attend the Our Coastal Future Forum in October to discuss environmental issues important to the future of our coastal communities. At the event, participants will learn from experts and researchers about topics such as fisheries, biodiversity, coastal habitat, coastal energy production and environmental health. After the brief information session, participants will discuss the topics with fellow residents, government officials, scientists and natural resource managers and prioritize actions to address these issues. There will be small group discussion sessions and a final session with all participants. The results of the forum will be shared with coastal natural resource managers, county staff and municipal staff.
The event is ticket only and will be held at the Trident Technical College Convention Center in North Charleston from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 21. The forum will be hosted by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and research partners from College of Charleston and University of Oklahoma. The research goal is to learn more about how deliberative discussion impacts the decision-making process in South Carolina. Participants will receive a stipend for travel to the event.

Due to space limits, please apply by September 1. Contact Stacey Weinstock or Lee Bundrick at or call (843) 953-2081. Late applications may be accepted. To learn more about the event, visit the Our Coastal Future Forum website at

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       
June 19, 2017

RE: South Carolina oyster grower participates in Capitol Hill briefing on Sea Grant’s impact on aquaculture

Joey Holleman,, (843) 953-2090

Charleston, S.C. – The owner of a Beaufort County oyster company explained at a Capitol Hill briefing how the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium helped spark growth in shellfish aquaculture in the state.

Frank Roberts of Lady’s Island Oyster joined aquaculturists from California, Maine, Michigan and Mississippi on a panel entitled “Aquaculture in the United States: Enhancing Growth of the Domestic Industry.” The briefing on June 13 was sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) has backed aquaculture research and development for more than 50 years. From 2012-2015, NSGCP funded $26 million in aquaculture projects. An additional $50 to $100 million research and development investment in the industry is planned during the next decade.

The United States imports a great majority of the seafood it consumes, creating an annual seafood trade deficit exceeding $12 billion. The development of the U.S. aquaculture industry is imperative to reduce that imbalance.

In South Carolina, Roberts is among the growing number of oyster culturists who benefit from the Consortium’s investments in research and technical education.

Roberts’ family has a long history of oyster harvesting in the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound. He was introduced to the South Carolina Lowcountry as a Marine Corps recruit at Parris Island in 1981. He returned to the area in the early 2000s and founded Lady’s Island Oyster in 2007 on the Coosaw and Whale Branch rivers.
The growth of the oyster industry in South Carolina faced a hurdle in the spring of 2014 when, amid concerns over the potential for disease transfer, the state introduced a moratorium on oyster seed transfer from all points north of South Carolina. With the Consortium’s help, resource managers were able to identify alternative sources of larvae that would meet import requirements. To assist the industry in responding to the moratorium, the Consortium provided local hatcheries and nurseries with the knowledge and tools needed to spawn and raise South Carolina oyster larvae and seed.

Roberts stepped up to meet the demands of this growing industry by starting a hatchery.

“It was clear that myself and several other growers were going to be out of business if our industry did not have a reliable in-state seed source,” Roberts says. “This meant building a hatchery; a daunting task. Sea Grant was the first place our industry looked for help. Now, three years later, thanks to science-based technologies and techniques learned from Sea Grant, we are realizing our long-term goals can be achieved. ”

Oyster mariculture involves growing hatchery-reared, single-set oysters to harvest size (roughly three inches) in mesh containers raised off the sea floor.  Consortium efforts have helped growers refine grow-out practices using floating gear, allowing them to grow a better oyster faster and cheaper.

Consortium-supported research has also introduced growers to the benefits of growing spawnless, or triploid, oysters as a means of providing a consistent meat yield during warmer months of the year. The market for premium single oysters cultivated using this method is strong thanks to the growing reputations of Charleston and other southern cities as culinary destinations.

Roberts said after three years of building his seed line, he has orders for nearly three million seed in 2017. And now the state has 16 oyster growers, with 10 more seeking permits.

“That’s real money, real jobs,” Roberts says.

Efforts to strengthen the oyster industry in South Carolina continue Sea Grant’s long history of connecting seafood producers with the latest science and most practical technologies to enhance their businesses, fostering prosperity for both the industry and related businesses in rural coastal communities.

Date: April 10, 2017

RE: Media Invitation to Benthic Ecology/SEERS Meeting 2017
Joey Holleman, (843) 953-2090 or
WHAT: Four experts from the Southeast, the Gulf Coast and England will have a panel session at the combined Benthic Ecology Meeting and Southeastern Estuarine Research Society Meeting to discuss the use of marine science to reset damaged coasts and communities. A media briefing and conference call will follow the panel discussion.
WHO: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium marine education specialist E.V. Bell will discuss From Seeds to Shoreline®, a program which gives K-12 students the chance to learn about the salt marsh ecosystem by cultivating and transplanting Spartina alterniflora, the grass that dominates the southeastern U.S. marsh landscape. Other panelists include Brittany Blomberg of Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, Jennifer Pollack of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Louise Firth of Plymouth University in England.
WHEN: Thursday, April 13, 2017, with the panel discussion from 10:30 a.m.-noon, and the media briefing and conference call 12:30-2 p.m. Media wishing to participate can call (843) 737-7035 and enter code 862227#.
WHERE: Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak St., Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, a university-based state agency, seeks to enhance the practical use and conservation of South Carolina’s coastal and marine resources to foster a sustainable economy and environment. The Consortium is a member of the nationwide network of 33 Sea Grant Programs that are sanctioned through the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program, U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information, visit

March 15, 2017

RE: Media Invitation to S.C. Seafood Summit
Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2092 or

WHAT: The South Carolina Seafood Summit, bringing together leaders in aquaculture, fisheries, distribution, retail and restaurants. Topics to be discussed include the state of South Carolina’s fisheries, current and future research, cooperative approaches for harvesters and aquaculture techniques.

WHO: Participants from Piggly Wiggly, Cantina 76, Sysco, Publix, Fresh Market, Sea Eagle Market and Urban Seas Aquaculture will talk during the 11 a.m.-noon session about linking food service distributors, retail chains, grocery stores and restaurants to get fresh seafood to consumers. Organized by S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and South Carolina Seafood Alliance with support from the National Sea Grant College Program. The full agenda is available here.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

WHERE: James Island County Park, Edisto Hall, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, S.C.

January 13, 2017

RE: Forums Planned to Discuss Future of Working Waterfronts in Five South Carolina Coastal Communities

Contact: Joey Holleman, (843) 953-2090 or

Charleston, S.C. – The future of traditional working waterfronts in five South Carolina coastal communities will be discussed in a series of public forums in January coordinated by researchers from the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, Clemson University and College of Charleston.

Working waterfronts in Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, McClellanville, Mount Pleasant and Port Royal face a variety of stresses, including population growth, sea-level rise and economic concerns. Each of those communities strikes its particular balance of fisheries, shipping, recreation and residential use of its waterfront, and the importance of each use has changed through the years.

In 2014 and 2015, the researchers talked with stakeholders from each community in group meetings and individual interviews about those changes and their preferred future courses. Information gathered helped identify needs, challenges and opportunities for each community.

The results of that research will be presented at the public meetings, which are designed to facilitate discussion and help prioritize issues.
The meetings are scheduled:
  • Monday, Jan. 23, 5-7 p.m.,
    Murrells Inlet Community Center, 4450 Murrells Inlet Rd., Murrells Inlet
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 5-7 p.m.,
    Waccamaw Council of Governments, 1230 Highmarket St., Georgetown
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25, 5-7 p.m.,
    McClellanville Town Hall, 405 Pinckney St., McClellanville
  • Monday, Jan. 30, 5-7 p.m.,
    Clemson Extension Office, 102 Industrial Village Rd., Beaufort
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, 5-7 p.m.,
    Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Rd., Mount Pleasant

January 12, 2017

RE: USC President Harris Pastides Elected Board Chair of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2078 or
Charleston, S.C.— University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides has been elected chair of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s Board of Directors. Pastides began his one-year term on January 1, 2017.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with Executive Director Rick DeVoe and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Board of Directors,” Pastides said. “I have a long-standing love for South Carolina’s coastal waterways and will continue to be a staunch advocate for sustainable marine resource conservation and scientific research.”

Pastides, who has been the USC president since 2008, has a master’s in public health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University. Before becoming USC’s president, he served as dean of the university’s Arnold School of Public Health and as vice president for Research and Health Sciences. Pastides serves on many local, state, national and international boards, including the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and the Fulbright Faculty Programs.

“I very much look forward to working with Dr. Pastides this coming year as chair of the Consortium’s Board of Directors,” DeVoe said. “His leadership and many years of experience working on education and research issues in the state will be invaluable to the Consortium’s work in meeting the needs of our diverse stakeholders.”

The Consortium’s Board of Directors is composed of the chief executive officers of its member institutions. Currently serving on the board in addition to Dr. Pastides are: Dr. James B. Clements, president of Clemson University; Dr. David A. DeCenzo, president of Coastal Carolina University; Glenn F. McConnell, president of College of Charleston; Dr. David J. Cole, president of Medical University of South Carolina; Col. Alvin A. Taylor, director of S.C. Department of Natural Resources; James E. Clark, president of S.C. State University; and Lt. General John W. Rosa, president of The Citadel.

Last updated: 4/18/2018 2:40:21 PM


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