Outreach and Education
- Hosted a guest lecture by Dr. Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, at Richland County Library, on February 15, which drew over 100 attendees. “Coloring the Conservation Conversation” dealt with the nature of water, how we are connected to our natural waters, and how we must all be involved in their protection for the future.
- Organized nine cleanups in various locations in the watershed including four Adopt-a-Highway cleanups along South Beltline near Shop and Bluff Roads in FY 2017-2018. All cleanups resulted in the collection of 220 bags of trash with over 100 volunteers providing 221 volunteer hours.
- Sent monthly e-newsletters to over 900 people. The newsletters included information about current and upcoming events, water quality education, and updates on developments and projects
- Palmetto Pride Project
Awarded a grant from Palmetto Pride to help reduce the amount of litter entering Little Jackson Creek, a tributary of Gills Creek near Decker Boulevard. The GCWA Education Committee applied for and was awarded this second Palmetto Pride grant to help reduce litter entering Jackson Creek in the Decker Boulevard area. GCWA installed six trash cans and signage at key locations and “litter hotspots” along Decker to help keep litter from entering the stream system. The COMET is still managing maintenance/emptying of the cans. GCWA also hosted a large community cleanup of the area and created anti-littering signs and other outreach materials for the Decker corridor. GCWA has installed a total of 12 cans and signage over a two year period.
- Owens Field Park BMP and Education Project
Completed nonpoint source pollution reduction and education project at Owens Field Park in partnership with Richland County and City of Columbia. Project included the construction of two bio-retention cells adjacent to Owens Field Park in the Rosewood area. These cells capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff before causing additional erosion problems and before reaching Devil’s Ditch and Gills Creek.
- October Flood Recovery
Reviewed and monitored some capital improvement and stormwater projects of Richland County, the City of Columbia, and other jurisdictions, including the long-awaited Devils Ditch improvement project.
Monitored the City's and the County's flood recovery efforts, particularly those regarding property buyouts. Reviewed and commented on City of Columbia/Richland County Land Development Code Revisions and Richland County's Land Development Manual revision.
- Fish Tissue Study
Completed surveying and sampling project for the EPA funded fish tissue study in Gills Creek Watershed and gave two public presentation with results. A YouTube video produced about the fish study results is located on GCWA web site.
- Gills Creek Stream Restoration
Contributed to the development of a successful grant proposal to SCDHEC for a three-year stream restoration project to improve an 850 foot section of the Gills Creek along the Crowson Road. Program partners are SCDHEC, the City of Columbia, Richland County Conservation Commission, and property owners.