Below is a collection of publications that contain information and research from a curated list of current resources (within the past five years) relevant to Georgia and the southeastern U.S.

Effects of Seismic Surveys on Marine Organisms

Seismic surveys involve projecting a long series of intense sound pulses to collect data about the ocean’s bottom layers. They are used for many purposes, including oil and gas exploration.

The purpose of this GCRC report is to review and summarize research conducted since 2014. It is primarily focused on marine organisms (zooplankton, fishes, sea turtles, and whales) found off the Georgia coast. However, relevant studies of nonindigenous species are also included, as in many cases information on native species was not available.

The report that follows is divided into three sections. Part One is an overview of natural and anthropogenic sounds in the ocean and a description of the seismic surveying process. Part Two summarizes literature on the potential physical, behavioral, and physiological effects seismic surveying may have on zooplankton, fishes, sea turtles, and whales. Part Three provides information on data gaps and further research needs.

Feasibility Study to Examine Potential Hydrological and Biological Benefits from Restoring Flow of a Salt Marsh Creek at the Edisto Beach Causeway: Final Project Completion Report

The primary goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of successfully restoring salt marshes and their ecological function through re-opening the Edisto Beach causeway and allowing the tidal waters of Scott Creek to flow as they did prior to being blocked by causeway construction. This study was accomplished through three primary areas of research including hydrological, biological, and geological studies. This study has found that causeway modification has high potential for wetland rehabilitation, even in an atypically complex system such as Scott Creek. There is currently no estimate of the total number of water flow restriction structures in South Carolina or the acreage of wetlands that could benefit from the removal or manipulation of such structures.

Shoreline Change in the New River Estuary, North Carolina: Rates and Consequences

Aerial photography was used to determine rates of shoreline change in the New River Estuary (NRE), North Carolina, from 1956 to 2004. The NRE shoreline was digitized from aerial photographs taken in 1956, 1989, and 2004, and shoreline type was determined by ground-truthing the entire shoreline by small boat in 2009. Major shoreline type categories include swamp forest (6% of total), saltmarsh (21%), sediment bank (53%), and modified/hardened (19%). The average shoreline change rate translates to an average loss of ~13 m for any given point over the 48-year period covered by this study. The greatest erosion occurred along unvegetated sediment bank shorelines. Change along marsh shorelines was lower than along sediment banks, and narrow fringing marsh associated with sediment bank shorelines significantly reduced bank erosion.

Use of Pulverized Glass for Beach Nourishment: A Review

Coastal erosion caused by increased extreme weather events and sea level rise is escalating the rate and extent to which beaches are washing away. This paper will review the geotechnical, biological, and abiotic analyses conducted on the experimental placement of recycled glass on beaches on Florida. It also describes the experiences local governments have had when considering the use of recycled glass as an alternative material for beach nourishment.

Use of Thin Layer Placement of Dredged Material for Salt March Restoration

Thin layer placement (TLP) is a versatile technique that can be used to restore many intertidal habitats, including all types of tidal marshes and beaches. This report is confined to the use of TLP of fine sediments (i.e., silt and clay) in salt marshes. Part 1 describes TLP and how it is being used for the nourishment and restoration of salt marshes. Part 2 examines how TLP projects are planned and deigned. Part 3 discusses the importance of monitoring TLP projects before, during, and after construction. Physical, biological, and chemical parameters that are commonly part of successful monitoring plans are described and results from case studies are discussed with a focus on the parameters useful for Georgia projects. Part 4 provides a discussion of factors that make up a successful TLP project.

Surface and Subsurface Flow and Contaminant Transport Modeling in Lower Altamaha Watershed

In this study, a hybrid surface/subsurface flow and transport model is developed that blends the powerful distributed parameter models with relatively simpler lumped parameter models. In the proposed model, a one-dimensional channel flow model is dynamically coupled with a two-dimensional vertically-averaged groundwater flow model along the river bed. The coupled flow and transport models are applied to the lower Altamaha watershed in southern Georgia. The flow model is used to perform simulations of hydrologic and hydraulic conditions along the river and in the dynamically linked surfacial aquifer. The model predicted the flood patterns including the magnitude of peaks and their arrival times with sufficient accuracy. Under the given flow conditions, the transport model is then implemented to test alternative contaminant transport patterns both in the river and within the aquifer.

Disposal of Dredged Material from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

In March 2014, teh USACE released a draft Environmental Assessment and DMMP for the Savannah District AIWW, proposing to use a combination of new and existing dredged material disposal sites, open water placement of sandy dredged material, and Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites for disposal of AIWW dredged material over the next 20 years. in order to assist the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in reviewing this document, this report provides general background on dredged material disposal (Part One) and describes the specific dredged material disposal policies and activities in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the northeastern portion of Florida (Part Two).

Literature Review: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Assessment, and Adaptation Approaches

To date, three closely-related approaches are being used to help transportation decision makers consider and prepare for future climate impacts: vulnerability assessment, risk assessment, and adaptation assessment. This document details how these approaches have been or could be used to integrate climate change impacts into transportation decisions and ultimately increase the adaptive capacity of the highway system.

Ecosystem Services Valuation of the Central Georgia Coast, including Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary; NOAA

This report details the results of a survey effort conducted by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in coastal Georgia which included the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The survey instrument was designed to analyze the knowledge, attitudes, and preferences of social values associated with the area’s ecosystem services for three distinct user groups of the Georgia coast: permanent residents, seasonal residents, and visitors. We highlight interesting findings for each group, and offer two potential uses of this information.