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ACSEC E-Newsletter

January/February 2014

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New Resource!
Pond Management
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Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
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Be Wise if You Fertilize
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Pet Waste Management
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Car Care
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Septic System Maintenance
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Clean Boating
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Fats, Oils, and Grease
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Hazardous Household Materials
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Litter and Illegal Dumping
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Construction Site Sediment

Programs and Resources 
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Create Your Own Carolina Yard

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Rain Garden Manual

rain barrel manuel
Residential Rainwater Harvesting Manual

Coast a Syst Cover

Coastal Friendly Living Guide and Links to other SC Sea Grant Publications

Tidal Creek Cover
This booklet explores tidal creek ecosystems and the various threats to the valuable services they provide

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Guide for Community Associations

Stormwater Pond Maintenance

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Home and Garden 

Information Center


Certified Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Inspector

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Free for Teachers:


New SC Standards-Based 

Watershed Lessons and Interactive Whiteboard Activities



SC Green Steps Program



Disposing of Household Waste


County Solid Waste and Recycling Center Info 

Berkeley County

Charleston County 

Dorchester County


Interactive Maps


SC Watershed Stewardship Map




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SC Coastal Information Network Website Search for Training Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities
Litter Sweeps
Adopt a Highway logo 
Community Pride 
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Palmetto Pride
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KAB Affiliates
Storm Drain Marking
Storm Drain Marker
Mark Storm Drains In Your Neighborhood and Promote Awareness that Storm Drains and Ditches Connect to SC's Waterways
 Email Angela Crouch
Oyster Reef Restoration and Water Quality Monitoring 
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SCORE Program

Tip of the Month: Rain Barrel Maintenence

Make maintaining your rain barrel an easy New Year's Resolution to keep by following these simple tips, adapted from Carolina Clear's "Rainwater Harvesting for Homeowners" manual:

1.     Avoid letting water sit in your barrel for more than one week.

2.     Set a schedule to check and clean out screens and downspout elbows.  Don't forget to check after heavy storms, too!

3.     Periodically check your barrel and connections for leaks. Caulk any problem spots on your gutter, downspout, or other fixtures.

4.     Completely empty and rinse your barrel at least once a year, especially after pollen season.

5.     Clean your gutters twice a year. This may need to occur more often if you have trees.

6.     Check for erosion at your overflow spout and repair if needed. Try using plants or stone to help stabilize problem areas.

7.     Have a light colored barrel?  Paint it a darker color, like black or green, to help reduce algae growth.

8.     Still having algae problems? Relocate or plant around your barrel to provide additional shade.


Not Good!                               Good! 


The lighter colored barrel seen on the left allows sunlight to penetrate and algae to grow. The water inside is murky and has an unpleasant odor. The barrel on the right is darker colored, helping to keep sunlight out. It is elevated to accommodate use of the water for gardening purposes.   

Top Pic

The Clemson Extension Water Resource Team attended the Clemson University Extension Conference in December. This provided an excellent opportunity for the team to spend time together in the field, learn from one another and share ideas about protecting water resources in our state.   

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Save the Date! 
Charleston Area Stormwater
Pond Management Conference
May 22, 2014
Save the Date! The second, bi-annual Charleston Area Stormwater Pond Management Conference will be held on May 22, 2014 at Trident Technical College. Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn from the experts on how to maintain your pond to control flooding, protect water quality, and keep your community beautiful! Once available, registration information and details will be posted to the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium website.   


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                  2014 Conference

2014 Adopt-A-Highway 

Did you know? In 2013, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers removed more than one million pounts of litter from South Carolina's roadsides and ditches!  


Suggested New Year's Resolution:

Get involved and lend a helping hand! Beautify our communities and keep our waterways clean by participating in Adopt-A-Highway this year. The first 2014 Adopt-A-Highway cleanup is starting soon.


Contact your County Coordinator today and adopt a highway! 


For Berkeley County, please contact Kimberly Chernomas.

For Charleston County, please contact Angela Crouch

For Dorchester County, please contact Jennifer Gruber.

CCPRC Stewardship Series
The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) and local eco-experts have teamed up to offer the CCPRC Stewardship Series. This educational series seeks to share traditional and cutting-edge ways to care for the natural world. The following are events in the series that are particularly water pertinent! Registration is required. 


"Build Your Own Rain Barrel"

Join Clemson Carolina Clear & the ACSEC to learn water smart practices and residential rainwater harvesting. Participants will take home a pre-assembled rain barrel, a rain gauge and a copy of the Carolina Clear Rainwater Harvesting for Homeowners Manual.

Cost: $96; $80 with a Charleston County Resident Discount      

When: Thursday, February 13th | 7pm-9pm

Where: Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel

Register: HERE


"Landscaping with Native Plants"

Join Clemson Carolina Clear & the ACSEC in learning about the joys of gardening with native plants. Native plants attract wildlife, require less water and fertilizer, and are beautiful! Each participant will be given a copy of Bringing Nature Home by Dr. Douglas Tallamy.

Cost: $30, $25 with a Charleston County Resident Discount

When: Thursday, February 20th | 4pm-6pm

Where: Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel

Register: HERE

cygs ivy        


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Carolina Clear Telephone Survey
Please, answer that phone!

The Clemson Carolina Clear Program wants to gauge what Lowcountry residents understand about local water quality and what impact their actions can have on these resources.

During December & part of January, through a partnership between Clemson University and George Mason University, students will conduct telephone surveys with households in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties to better understand what information and educational programs are needed to help protect the area's valuable water resources. Each survey is designed to last no longer than 15 minutes. The goal is to have 400 residents complete the survey.


Preliminary results will be available on the Carolina Clear website in winter of 2014, with finalized results in summer 2014.

To learn more, click HERE.

Boat Pumpout Program
Charleston Waterkeeper

Boat Pumpout Program Launch!


Charleston Waterkeeper has launched their Mobile Pumpout Program, providing boaters with a free and convenient way to properly dispose of their sanitary waste and keep our waters clean. This program is offered in partnership with SC Department of Natural Resources Clean Vessel Act Program, which provides resources and outreach to encourage environmentally responsible boating practices.  


To schedule a pumpout at your boat, please call 843-608-9287.  To find out more information, please visit the Charleston Waterkeeper website.


Photo: James McGavick, MCG Photography
College of Charleston's Grice Marine Laboratory  
Green Teaching Garden Gets Certified 

College of Charleston's Grice Marine Lab is now home to the first Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) in South Carolina! OFG is a national recognition program of the Surfrider Foundation; gardens recognized  are those that include conservation, permeability and retention principles to help protect the health of watersheds.
The Grice Green Teaching Garden was opened in April 2012 and provides opportunities for watershed stewardship education and awareness of sustainability practices.

The Green Teaching Garden features include a 1500 gallon cistern, 8 rain barrels, rain garden, compost station, raised beds, native plants and interpretive signage.

The garden and teaching area were built through partnership between the Marine Biology Graduate Student Association, the CofC Office of Sustainability, the CofC Master of Environmental Studies program, Grice Marine Lab, the CofC Grounds Department, Clemson Extension's Carolina Clear Program, and the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium (ACSEC).

Congratulations College of Charleston & to all of those involved in making the Green Teaching Garden the state's first certified Ocean Friendly Garden!

Read more HERE.
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Metal Stormdrain Marking 

November 14, 2013

On November 14th, the Charleston Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium (ACSEC) and Clemson Carolina Clear teamed up to raise awareness of the connection between activities on land and the health of local waterways at Folly Beach. The group of over a dozen volunteers "marked" the stormdrains on Folly Beach's Center Street using a metal medallion with the simple message "Don't Pollute, Leads to Waterways." The metal medallions, supplied by the ACSEC, are part of a pilot effort in the Charleston Tri-County area for high visibility locations. The group drilled the markers into sidewalks adjacent to stormdrains, picked up litter, and surveyed stormdrains for causes of concern.  To schedule a stormdrain marking program in your community, please email acrouch@clemson.edu.

Water-wise Gardening Workshops

Fall 2013

In November, the ACSEC hosted three workshops for residential audiences pertaining to stormwater best management practices:

Rain Garden Workshop: CCPRC's Master Naturalists In Training

The ACSEC & Clemson Extension teamed up with CCPRC to host a one day workshop for the Fall 2013 Master Naturalist in Training program. The workshop took place on November 12th at the Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center on Savannah Highway. The group started at the "Ed Shed" where we discussed watershed stewardship, the basics of building a rain garden and rainwater harvesting practices. Then, the group walked to the Urban Research and Demonstration Area (URDA) where we installed a rain garden and learned through hands-on experience!  

Rain Garden Workshop: Clemson Extension's Master Gardeners In Training

The ACSEC & Clemson Extension hosted a one-day workshop for the 2013 Master Gardener in Training program. This workshop took place on November 21st at the Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center on Savannah Highway. The group started at the "Ed Shed" where we toured the facility and discussed best management practices for protecting water quality. Then, the group walked to the Urban Research and Demonstration Area (URDA) where we we had the chance to get our hands dirty and install a rain garden!

Water-Wise Gardening Workshop: Garden Gathering Event 
On November 16th, the second annual Garden Gathering Event took place at Cypress Gardens; the event was held in partnership between Cypress Gardens, Clemson Extension Service and the Tri-County Master Gardeners Association. The ACSEC and Carolina Clear hosted a workshop as part of the event on Water-Wise Gardening. Participants in the workshop assembled a rain barrel, constructed a rain chain out of pine cones and other materials, toured a rain garden, and attended a lecture on watershed stewardship and best management practices. The afternoon was both fun & educational - check out the photos below! 



New Rainwater Harvesting Features at Area Schools 

Fall 2013

Mitchell Elementary School 

The Green Heart Project, Keep Charleston Beautiful and the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium partnered to install a 1,550 gallon cistern at Mitchell Elementary School in downtown Charleston. Thank you Keep Charleston Beautiful for securing funding through Keep America Beautiful and a grant from Lowe's Home ImprovementThe cistern captures the water from a newly constructed outdoor teaching space and the captured rainwater will be used on adjacent landscaped and raised beds! We enjoyed working with Green Heart Project and Keep Charleston Beautiful, you do wonderful work in our community!  



 Goodwin Elementary School 


The ACSEC worked with Ms. Katie Allen, a teacher at Goodwin Elementary School in North Charleston, to install two 50-gallon rain barrels on the school's campus. Ms. Allen is in charge of the after school gardening club. Her students will use the captured rainwater in their greenhouse and adjacent flower bed.


Ashley River Creative Arts School

The ACSEC worked with Ms. Ashley Harris, a teacher at the Ashley River Creative Arts School in West Ashley. Ms. Harris works with the after school garden club where her students have taken an interest in water resource stewardship. This fall we installed a bicycle pump to not only move water from their 300 gallon cistern to the school garden, but also to further engage students in learning about the relationship between water use and energy!



Thank you! for reading this edition of the Ripple Effect, the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium (ACSEC) E-newsletter. Like ripples on the water, we hope you will pass on your knowledge, and this newsletter, to others. 

Thank You!
for protecting SC's water resources!
Storm Drains and Ditches Lead to SC Waterways

The ACSEC is a regional partnership between counties, municipalities, universities, state and local agencies, non-profits and other organizations in the Tri-County region. 
The ACSEC mission: Improve water quality within the Ashley and Cooper River basins by providing educational opportunities on stormwater impacts and our community roles in supporting healthy, fishable, and swimmable waterways. 
ACSEC New Logo  
Thank You!

For Protecting South Carolina's Waterways 


Have a workshop or event request, or just want to know more? Please contact us!
Water Resources Extension Agent
Water Resources Extension Agent

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.