Identifying and Evaluating Impacts to Wetlands from the Savannah River Estuary

As part of the SHEP, USACE prepared a Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan (MAMP) that outlines numerous projects and processes that will be carried out to assess project-induced impacts to the environment.

One project identified in the MAMP is the monitoring of marsh sites in the Savannah


River Estuary located in Georgia and South Carolina.

Work was initiated in 2013 that entailed data collection, integration, and analysis of prior and new research to identify and evaluate impacts to tidal wetlands and their native flora and fauna from recent changes in coastal infrastructure.

The SHEP pre-construction phase of monitoring has been completed, creating a baseline in which to compare during and post-construction anticipated effects.

This effort begins another 5-year monitoring commitment for the during/post-construction phases to ensure the predicted levels of environmental effects are not exceeded.

Program Description/Objective:
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared for the SHEP details potential environmental impacts that may occur as a result of the deepening project.

One potential result identified in the FEIS is the conversion of some freshwater marsh to brackish marsh and some saltwater marsh to brackish marsh.

To monitor these conversions, fieldwork will be conducted at 12 marsh sites in the Savannah River Estuary to identify environmental changes to flora within these tidal wetlands during and after SHEP construction activities.

For continuity, field work must replicate the procedures used by Clemson University, Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources from 2014-2023 for the SHEP.

Those procedures follow work that was conducted by the USGS Florida Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit (FL Coop Unit) during a wetlands monitoring project in 2000/200 1. Field research conducted should be able to establish changes between salinity levels and vegetative communities by:
· Documenting the impacts of hydrologic changes on the tidal marshes as a result of the harbor deepening.

This work would include evaluating tidal flooding over various types of marshes and salinity levels in the surface waters and in the root zone of the marsh vegetation.

The datasets would be analyzed and integrated into detailed maps displaying location and data point values, analyses of datasets including recognizing patterns, identification of trends (e.g., over time, varying flow conditions), and relationships.

· Documenting the vegetative changes that result in the tidal marshes as a result of hydrologic modifications to the Savannah River Estuary.

This work would include monitoring the diversity and abundance of various wetland plant species that comprise the range of marsh communities found in the estuary - freshwater, brackish, and saltmarsh.

The successful recipient shall prepare monthly and quarterly progress reports, and an annual report(s) to include documentation of methods and analyses conducted throughout the duration of the work.

The recipient/awardee may be asked to present research findings and monitoring results to inform natural resource agencies and the public as appropriate.
Agency: Department of Defense

Office: Engineer Research and Development Center

Estimated Funding: $1,574,000


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TR-24-001.html

Additional Information of Eligibility:
This opportunity is restricted to non-federal partners of the Piedmont-South Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU).

Disclosures of current and pending support made in this application may render an applicant ineligible for funding.

Prior to award and throughout the period of performance, ERDC may continue to request updated continuing and pending support information, which will be reviewed and may result in discontinuation of funding.

Religious organizations are entitled to compete on equal footing with secular organizations for Federal financial assistance as described in E.O.

13798, “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”

Full Opportunity Web Address:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TR-24-001.html

Contact:


Agency Email Description:
Phoebe Fuller

Agency Email:


Date Posted:
2023-12-01

Application Due Date:


Archive Date:
2024-03-03


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