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Selected posts to the GCRC Listserv

Feb 2003 | Jun 2003 | Sept 2003

February 2003

>>> Georgia Sea Grant Funding

As most of you are already aware, Georgia Sea Grant College Program has made funding available for research into the causes of marsh dieback (as part of the Coastal Ecosystem Health portfolio). The preproposal deadline is March 3rd, and the request for proposals can be found at http://georgiaseagrant.uga.edu/pdf/callforproposals.pdf

In support of this effort, we have organized a meeting to update you on the situation and to discuss the standardized monitoring that is planned to begin this spring.

>>> Marsh Dieback Meeting

The marsh dieback meeting is scheduled for next Friday, February 21,from 8:30-10:30. This will be a virtual meeting, with GSAMS hookups inplace in Athens (UGA), Skidaway (SKIO), Brunswick (MAREX), Savannah (SSU), and Sapelo Island (UGAMI). If you cannot be at one of these institutions and would like to participate in the meeting, let us know and we will work with you to arrange an additional site.

The tentative agenda for the meeting is as follows:
- Jan MacKinnon (CRD) will provide an update on reports of marshdie-off on the coast
- Merryl Alber (UGA) will present results from the LTER initialsampling effort
- Joe Richardson (SSU) will report on the standardized protocol thathas been developed by the marsh monitoring subcommitte
- Chandra Franklin (SSU) will present results of viability assays

After the presentations, we would like to decide how many sites will be monitored and get some input into site selection. It is possible that Sea Grant funds may be available to fund some additional research at these sites.

{A summary of the Feb 21st meeting can be found here}

We apologize for the late notice on this meeting. If you are planning to attend the meeting, please let us know that you will be there (and at which location). If you are interested but cannot attend, we will post a meeting summary on our web site.

June 2003

A lot has been going on with regard to the issue of salt marsh dieback on the coast. Below we provide a brief update on our activities. Most of this information may also be found on the GCRC website: http://www.marsci.uga.edu/coastalcouncil/marsh_dieback.htm

If you are interested in participating more actively in any of these efforts, please let us know.

MONITORING: http://www.marsci.uga.edu/coastalcouncil/marsh_monitoring.htm

The GCRC has established a standardized marsh monitoring protocol to monitor both live and dead sites. This protocol was field-tested on Sapelo Island earlier this month by personnel from UGA, Savannah State University (SSU), SINERR, the Ossabaw Foundation, and CRD. Six sites are slated for quarterly monitoring and the data will be collated and made available on the web site. An additional site in Savannah (Talahi Island) is being monitored monthly by SSU personnel under the direction of Carla Curran.

As part of the monitoring effort, plant samples June 27, 2014 of some of this work are available under the heading "smooth cordgrass" on the web site.

Students from UGA and SSU are scheduled to work with CRD to survey 30 die-back areas this summer to look for common patterns.


A graduate student in Merryl Alber's laboratory (Matt Ogburn) is doing reciprocal transplants of healthy marsh grass to see if they can survive in dead marsh areas (and vice versa). He is working at SINERR as well as at Mellon Bluff Plantation in Liberty County.

Transplants were also put into the ground at the Jerico River site this past spring by Gerard Krewer (UGA) and personnel from CRD.

REMOTE SENSING: http://www.marsci.uga.edu/coastalcouncil/remotesensing.htm

The February 21st meeting on marsh dieback resulted in the formation of a committee on remote sensing, which includes representatives from the NMFS Marine Sanctuary Program at Gray's Reef, CRD, UGA Marine Extension Service, and SINERR. SINERR already has images of their area and the group is working to acquire aerial images of the whole coast. Karen Payne (MAREX) is coordinating the effort to analyze these images in order to identify areas in different stages of dieback and track vegetation patterns over time.

MAPPING: http://www.marsci.uga.edu/coastalcouncil/dieback_map.htm

The GCRC website now has a map of coastal Georgia dieback sites with photo links.


In addition to numerous newspaper articles regarding the issue (e.g. http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/052703/LOCmarsh.shtml), we have just received word that Tom Brokaw and NBC nightly news is interesting in doing a spot on the issue. We'll keep you posted!    {NBC did broadcast a short segment on the Georgia marshes}


The GCRC will be aiding Georgia Sea Grant funding recipients and DNR (coastal incentive grant recipients) to make marsh dieback research information accessible through various channels (meetings, the GCRC website, and this listserv).


We have gratefully received support from the Georgia Sea Grant College Program, the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems-LTER program, and Georgia's Coastal Management Program. As always, we also thank Jan MacKinnon at the Coastal Resources Division of GaDNR for her hard work.

September 2003

Open Marsh Water Management

Georgia DNR is planning a workshop regarding Open Marsh Water Management for mosquito control in Georgia. To plan this workshop, GaDNR is working in partnership with USFWS, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Sapelo Island NERR. The GCRC has been asked to solicit information from any of you folks that may have interest and time to dedicate to yet another critical coastal issue. Please contact the Council (gcrc@uga.edu) or Jan MacKinnon (jan_mackinnon@dnr.state.ga.us).

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This page was updated February 4, 2016