Monitoring to keep tabs on Savannah harbor deepening’s impact | savannahnow.com

9
Apr

Monitoring to keep tabs on Savannah harbor deepening’s impact | savannahnow.com

Squishing with every step and crackling with each arm’s sweep of giant cut grass, the Clemson ecologists slogged to their destination, an area of freshwater marsh on the Savannah River expected to be threatened by harbor deepening.

Guided by GPS, research assistant professor Jamie Duberstein and research technician Ryan Marsh found their site Wednesday morning and got to work assembling a monitoring station.

Into a flat plastic platform they fitted PVC pipes, one for an above ground monitor and one for below ground. Using a tool fabricated for this purpose, Duberstein drilled two holes a foot or so apart to accept the pipes.

With the platform in place he slipped the wire-hung monitors into their pipes and capped them. They immediately began making hourly recordings of salinity, the key to the health of this rare and diverse freshwater habitat.

The research, supported by $360,000 in funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is designed to keep a close watch on how salty the marsh gets. For now, it’s a baseline measure of normal conditions. Once dredging begins to deepen the river from its current 42 down to 47 feet, the monitors will tell if mitigation measures are working.

via Monitoring to keep tabs on Savannah harbor deepening’s impact | savannahnow.com.

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