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Coastal Research and Information Needs

 

Here is a list of research issues and information needs (not prioritized) identified by natural resource managers and researchers working on Georgia's coast.

Marine Fisheries

  • Estimates and impacts of recreational crabbing and shrimping in Georgia
  • Identification of spawning sites for recreationally important Sciaenids
  • Assessment of Georgia inshore and offshore artificial reefs in terms of productivity, habitat, species utilization, and recreational usage
  • Boating and fishing access needs and impacts assessment for coastal Georgia
  • Identification of critical habitats (spawning, nursery, etc.) for commercially and recreationally important species (shrimp, blue crabs, red drum, spotted seatrout, Southern Kingfish, sheepshead, tripletail, Southern flounder, etc.
  • Estimates of fishing and natural mortality for Southern Kingfish
  • Estimates of hooking mortality in the catch-and-release recreational fisheries
  • Development of a coastal Georgia Fisheries Habitat Plan using GIS
  • Current oyster acreage maps
  • Sources of funding for shellfish aquaculture development
  • Characterization/quantification of impacts to Essential and Critical Fish Habitats, fisheries, and ecosystem productivity 
  • Assessment/monitoring of manmade and natural reefs and associated communities
  • Monitoring techniques/methodologies for Georgia's offshore, coastal, and estuarine reefs
  • Sociological and economic evaluations associated with offshore/inshore artificial reef development, user groups, and trends
  • Improvements in artificial reef technology (eg., designed units, siting, material configurations, etc.) to maximize the development of reef communities
  • Life history investigations
  • Improved fishery assessments, with increased/coordinated fishery-dependent and fishery-independent monitoring/surveys regionwide
  • Bottom mapping on the continental shelf, mapping/modeling of circulation and effects of terrestrial and ocean climate/weather events on circulation patterns associated with fish spawning and recruitment on the shelf
  • Marine protected areas
  • Impact of disease on commercially and recreationally important species - specifically black gill disease in shrimp and Hematodinium in blue crabs
  • More complete knowledge of the early life history of exploited estuarine and marine fishes indigenous to coastal Georgia
  • Definitive information on the habitat preferences of all life stages of exploited estuarine and marine fishes and invertebrates indigenous to coastal Georgia
  • Effects of drought and reduced freshwater inflow on estuarine productivity, particularly for fishes and invertebrates
  • Characterization of bycatch in commercially and recreationally important fisheries and shrimp trawls
  • Status and trends in emerging/declining fisheries (cannonball jellyfish and whelk, respectively) as they relate to harvest, abundance, participation and ecological impact
  • Economic impacts of saltwater fishing tournaments, artificial reefs, and the for-hire businesses
  • Feasibility of marine aquaculture in coastal Georgia
  • Georgia's fishing fleet:
    • condition of the current fleet and future forescast with the reduction in working shorelines
    • average age of vessel, sea worthiness, and origin location
  • Monitor the abundance and distribution of introduced species and evaluation of their impacts on native fauna

Coastal Habitats

  • Development of an Index of Biotic Integrity for Georgia estuaries
  • Current and historical datasets to ID indicators, both ecological and other, that best represent condition
  • Cumulative and secondary impacts from development
  • Impacts of hammocks development on surrounding vital marshlands
  • Impacts of private recreational docks on surrounding vital marshlands
  • Carrying capacity of docks in small creeks and tributaries? Can a carrying capacity for creeks and small tributaries model be made?
  • Development impacts on shellfish resources
  • Tidal marsh restoration (ecological lift vs. economics)
  • Ecosystem services (value of saltmarshes)
  • Role/effectiveness of wetland buffers (buffering salt marshes and wetlands)
  • Impervious surface impacts to coastal marshlands & projected impacts of impervious surface cover
  • Stormwater impacts to coastal marshlands
  • Living shorelines
  • An early detection and rapid response plan for invasive species
  • Southeastern taxonomic keys
  • Innovative technologies /methodologies for dredge material disposal
  • Innovative technologies utilized for bank stabilization
  • Marsh dieback
  • Environmental and biological data related to health and/or status of Georgia's river drainage systems. Specific needs relate to habitat needs during early life stages of marine organisms
  • Geo-referenced mapping of all known Crown, Georgia State Grant, Georgia Legislative Easements, and Heritage Preserve Wetlands
  • Marsh vegetation classification
  • Measuring how artificial reefs/oyster restoration/living shorelines improve or enhance adjacent vegetated saltmarsh areas
  • Reach of tide in major riverine systems

Water and Sediment Quality/Quantity

  • Fecal bacteria and beach water (including baseline data for Enterococci bacteria)
  • Long-term effectivenss of LID techniques on stormwater/water quality-quantity
  • Bacterial transport – hydrology studies
    • what are the bacterial sources?
  • How harmful to human health is fecal bacteria in beach waters?
    • epidemiological studies
  • How can we better detect pathogens in beach waters?
    • predictive modeling
    • better, quicker indicator tests
    • quantifying cumulative impacts to estuaries with respect to changes in land use and stormwater runoff
    • quantifying impacts to water quality as a function of change in land use
    • how to implement new enterococcus qPCR method
  • Correlations between fecal coliform rates and salinity
  • Bacterial issues in and around Georgia coastal marinas
  • Correlations between DO levels and tannins in Georgia coastal rivers
  • Estuarine nutrient thresholds
  • Feasibility of placing "dams" in Satilla River
  • Impacts of decreased fresh water into estuaries
  • Info on new wells and testing
  • Effects of wetlands and land use practices on instream flows (at multiple scales from site to regional)
  • Direct and indirect influences various coastal and near coast forestry activities have on the waters of the state.
  • Salinity profiles up to the freshwater interface for each major system.
  • Baseline data for coastal nutrients, metals, organics, and inorganics.
  • Sediment toxicity index for coastal Georgia
  • Georgia coastal benthic index
  • Aquifer related information (quality and quantities)
  • Benthic and contaminant data for Georgia estuaries, particularly those linked to Sapelo, Doboy, and Altamaha Sounds
  • Data on sediment transport dynamics and water movement on the continental shelf, particularly in the Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary area.
  • Contacts to help expand the [hydrologic monitoring] network for better coverage and how to mesh better with existing data collection activities.
  • Impacts of prior coastal development from Hilton Head to New England
  • Subsurface geology in coastal Georgia
  • Sand budget studies for Georgia sea islands, including shoreline erosion and accretion history and trends
  • Beachfront shoreline change modeling/predictive ability considerate of natural and anthropogenic inputs
  • Similar to predictive modeling as above in beach water pathogens but focused on point source discharges and accidental releases

Management and Communications

  • Revision of policies and permitting processes to accommodate emerging needs.
  • Smart growth/land-planning initiatives
  • Hold annual meeting to communicate resource managers needs – before Sea Grant and CIG deadlines
  • Series of “issues” papers on website to identify needs (issues paper that ID data gaps)
  • Rapid response vs. emergent issues – need protocol to handle each of these
  • Long-term research vision that incorporates management needs and scientists interest – symposium??
  • Take research priorities to Sea Grant and CAC as information to incorporate into theme setting
  • Better educate CAC members regarding coastwide research needs and priorities
  • Directed projects through CAC and Sea Grant – is this possible??
  • Data coordination
  • Topic-specific education opportunities
  • Have workshop similar to Coop. Science Center (NOAA – SSU) to influence incoming applications
  • Include those individuals that are “well connected”

Coastal Hazards

  • Economic cost of action vs. inaction related to coastal hazards
  • Effects of ocean acidification in coastal Georgia waters
  • Local model ordinances to address climate change impacts
  • increase orthometrically referenced tidal stations for enhanced accuracy of tidal datums in reference to land elevations

 



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This page was updated February 4, 2016