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2011 Archived News Releases
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Southeast Tidal Creeks Summit Set for December 5-6 in Charleston, S.C.
Contact:Susan Ferris Hill,, (843) 953-2078
Denise Sanger, Ph.D., assistant director for research and planning,, (843) 953-2076

Orangegrove boat landingCharleston, S.C.— The Southeast Tidal Creeks Summit will be held at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C., December 5-6, 2011. The summit is organized and sponsored by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium in partnership with North Carolina Sea Grant, Georgia Sea Grant, North Carolina State University, The Coastal Society and the Taylor and Francis Group. The meeting will address critical issues southeastern communities face in understanding and managing impacts on tidal creek ecosystems.

Leading tidal creek researchers from the region will present their work on tidal creek functions, impacts upon them and strategies for future research and sustainable management techniques. Five facilitated discussions will cover identification of research gaps, information needs for effective management, linking research with management, restoration of tidal creek systems and a wrap-up discussion on the future of research, management and restoration efforts. Guest speaker Charles Seabrook, author of a soon-to-be published book, “The World of the Salt Marsh,” will provide his perspective on why tidal creeks are important. Seabrook is a native of John’s Island, S.C., and a former science and environment writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he worked for 34 years.

Tidal creeks are productive ecosystems, providing a host of environmental services. Tidal creeks are important nursery habitats for fish and wildlife, and are an avenue for energy and material exchange. “Tidal creeks are the direct connection to our land. They are the zone of first impact from the upland and provide early warning of potential negative effects on the larger estuarine ecosystem,” says Denise Sanger, assistant director for research and planning at S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. Although naturally resilient to fluctuating water and salinity levels, tidal creeks can be stressed by significant changes in local landscapes. This can lead to declines in water quality, shellfish health and habitat functions. “Southeastern communities face similar issues in understanding and managing impacts on tidal creek systems,” says Barbara Doll, North Carolina Sea Grant water quality specialist. “This summit will provide an opportunity to share tools, techniques and successes.”

Scientists, natural resources managers, conservationists and the ecological restoration community will be participating in the summit to share experiences and to help shape the future of tidal creeks. Using the expertise from this broad range of attendees, summit organizers will develop a paper that outlines the state of tidal creek research and management in the Southeast and provides an evaluation of current management and restoration strategies. The paper also will identify current and potential threats to tidal creeks and relevant research and management needs.

For more information or to register, visit

News Release - September 28, 2011
Media contact: Susan Ferris Hill, 843.953.2078

CCU President DeCenzo Elected as Board Chair of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Contact:Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2078 or
Mona Prufer, (843) 349-2087 or

David DeCenzoCharleston, S.C.— David A. DeCenzo, Ph.D., president of Coastal Carolina University, has been elected as chair of S.C. Sea Grant Consortium’s Board of Directors. DeCenzo will begin his one-year term on January 1, 2012.

DeCenzo, a native of Maryland, is the 2nd president of Coastal Carolina University (CCU). Prior to his appointment as president, DeCenzo served as dean of CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration from 2002-2006, and was named provost of the university from 2006-2007. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Master of Business Administration program in 2006.

DeCenzo attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics (1978). He also earned a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis on labor economics (1980) and a Ph.D. in industrial relations (1981), both from West Virginia University. He then became a corporate trainer/employee development specialist with Blue Cross Blue Shield, an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore and a professor, scholar and administrator at Towson University in Baltimore. DeCenzo’s teaching and research interests have focused on management, human resource management and organizational behavior. He is the author or co-author of nearly 30 textbooks that are used widely at colleges and universities.

“It is an honor for me to serve an organization that plays such an important role in the life of our state,” said DeCenzo. “The Consortium’s work is vital to the effective management of our coastal resources, and I look forward to working with the board and administration to build on its successful record of achievement.”

“I am very pleased that our board has elected Dr. DeCenzo to serve as chairman,” said Rick DeVoe, executive director of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. “His extensive experience with strategic planning, program assessment and growing programs will greatly enhance the success of the Consortium over the next year.”

The Consortium’s Board of Directors is composed of the chief executive officers of its member institutions. Currently serving on the board are: Dr. Raymond S. Greenberg, president of Medical University of South Carolina (Board Chair); James F. Barker, president of Clemson University; Dr. David A. DeCenzo, president of Coastal Carolina University; Dr. P. George Benson, president of College of Charleston; John E. Frampton, executive director of S.C. Department of Natural Resources; Dr. George E. Cooper, president of S.C. State University; Lt. General John W. Rosa, president of The Citadel; and Dr. Harris Pastides, president of University of South Carolina.

For more information, visit

News Release - June 30, 2011
Media contact: Susan Ferris Hill, 843.953.2078

College of Charleston Student Selected for Research Fellowship
Contact: Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2078 or

Jennifer HeinCharleston, S.C.—Jennifer Hein, a candidate in the Master of Science in Environmental Studies Program at the College of Charleston, has been awarded a 2011 Coastal Research Fellowship by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

The two South Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserves (North Inlet-Winyah Bay and ACE Basin NERRs) and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium established this new fellowship for South Carolina-based graduate students with significant support provided through North Carolina Sea Grant. The fellowship is designed to foster collaborative research between the two NERR sites.

Hein will compare the impacts of an invasive parasitic species on American eel populations in each of the two NERRs and the more developed Cooper River. The invasive parasite, originally from East Asia, infects the swim bladder of American eels. She speculates that the NERRs are healthy ecosystems that maintain healthier eel populations, which are more capable of resisting infections by this invasive parasite. Hein’s hypothesis is that eel populations from the three different sites, representing a range of development impacts, will exhibit different abilities to resist infection.

For more information about the NERR-Sea Grant fellowship, visit


News Release - April 11, 2011
Media contact: Susan Ferris Hill, 843.953.2078  

2010 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award Winner Announced
Contact: Susan Ferris Hill, (843) 953-2092 or

Columbia, S.C.—Frank S. Holleman, III was announced as winner of the 2010 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award at a ceremony in Columbia, S.C. today. The South Carolina General Assembly established the S.C. Environmental Awareness Award in 1992 to recognize outstanding contributions made toward the protection, conservation and improvement of the state’s natural resources. Members of the awards committee represent the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, S.C. Forestry Commission, S.C. Department of Natural Resources and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

A native of Seneca in Oconee County, Mr. Holleman received the award for his exceptional leadership, creativity and passion for upstate and coastal land conservation and education efforts. During his leadership at Naturaland Trust, one of the oldest land conservation trusts in the Southeast, Mr. Holleman was instrumental to the success of two projects: the Blue Wall Connection and Stumphouse Mountain. Holleman photo

The Blue Wall Connection—the southern anchor of the Mountain Bridge conservation initiative begun in the 1970s—links the Saluda watershed with conservation properties across the Blue Ridge escarpment in South Carolina. Over the past five years, Mr. Holleman achieved the addition of 500 acres to the existing 30,000 acres of critical conservation lands to the area bordering Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway and the South Saluda River, including 9 tracts acquired by Naturaland Trust. On one of the tracts, there are plans for The Blue Wall Center, which will educate visitors about the mountain region and habitats. Conservation of these lands protects habitat for many threatened and endangered species, as well as species of concern, while preserving the character of the South Carolina mountain region. In addition, protection of natural resources in the upper reaches of main watersheds improves water quality in the immediate area and downstream. Mr. Holleman’s ability to work with landowners, forge new partnerships and creatively leverage public and private funding sources has led to the $4.6 million Blue Wall Connection conservation success.

Mr. Holleman’s second successful conservation effort is the Stumphouse Mountain project. This property, located in Oconee County, was close to being sold to a developer from Florida. Mr. Holleman was the driving force in saving nearly 1,000 acres of mountain habitats, including Issaqueena Falls and other public recreation areas. He was able to bring together 1,118 private donors, state resources, a municipality and non-governmental organizations to raise the $4.5 million dollars needed to protect this environmentally sensitive area. The project paved the way for the establishment of the 442-acre Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve now managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

In addition, Mr. Holleman worked closely with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help protect rare piedmont seepage forest areas in the Clear Creek Heritage Preserve that support the endangered bunched arrowhead plant, which is only found in small areas of North and South Carolina. One such area is on the campus of Gateway Elementary School in Greenville County, and Mr. Holleman has educated the administration about the presence of the species, habitat requirements and actions the school could take to improve the survival of bunched arrowhead. He also is a stewardship volunteer at the Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve and assists with the control of invasive species that threaten the endangered Miccosukee gooseberry, a plant known to exist in only two sites in South Carolina and one in Florida. And during his leadership on the Advisory Board of Audubon South Carolina, Mr. Holleman worked with conservation partners to protect thousands of acres of the Four Holes Swamp area in the Francis Beidler Forest in Dorchester County, saving critical wetlands and uplands from development.

Frank S. Holleman, III is a true steward of South Carolina’s natural resources and he has tirelessly strived to protect ecologically and culturally sensitive lands. His dedication, creativity and talent for bringing together citizens, conservation organization, and governmental agencies to preserve our cherished resources will be realized by many generations to come.

News Release - April 4, 2011
Media contact: Susan Ferris Hill, 843.953.2078     

University of South Carolina Graduate Student Selected for Knauss Fellowship
Contact: Susan Ferris Hill,, (843) 953-2092
Sierra Jones

Charleston, S.C.— Sierra Jones, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, has been awarded a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship for 2011. She is serving as a congressional affairs specialist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Her task is to facilitate communications between NOAA scientists and Congress on a range of issues, including invasive species, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, Great Lakes, education and oceans and human health.

“I am greatly enjoying my current position at NOAA, primarily because of the interaction I have with both scientists and legislators,” Jones said. “I would like to continue working in NOAA because I feel that it is an agency where there are opportunities to be involved in both research and policy. I love the mission of NOAA, and think that the work the agency conducts is vitally important to the nation.”

To further the education of tomorrow’s leaders, the National Sea Grant Office sponsors the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, bringing a select group of graduate students to the nation’s capital, where they work in the federal government’s legislative and executive branches. The students learn about federal policy regarding marine and Great Lakes natural resources and lend their scientific expertise to federal agencies and congressional staff offices.

Each of the nation’s 32 Sea Grant programs can nominate up to six students to the Knauss fellows program each year. Selections are then made competitively from among those nominations. Visit for more information about this program.

Last updated: 4/18/2018 2:02:03 PM
2011 Archived News Releases


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