• While a large part of our research is focused on water quality issues, we do a variety of other research here at the center also. Over the years our projects have covered topics including the impacts of the urban corridor on river ecology, carbon dynamics in relation to oxygen demanding substances, optimization of constructed wetland design, the reproductive habits of shortnose sturgeon, fecal coliform dynamics in urban streams, monitoring of mosquito diversity and abundance, long term herpetological studies, pit lake restoration, mitigation projects, Savannah River flow velocity studies, and continuous monitoring of two different river systems, the Savannah and the Ogeechee.

  • One of our earliest studies, the Savannah River Comprehensive Study 2006-2008, established our organization as a source of quality data. The wealth of data generated during that study has been used to refine a number of different river models and specifically to help inform flow regulation by the United States Army Corps of Engineers during the drought conditions that followed the study period. Our first adaptive management strategy, developed in 2008, served as an initial draft for strategies later written by both the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

    Since then our data has continued to be used by local, state, and federal agencies, industries, researchers, and other organizations. Additionally, our organization is routinely called on to help develop water management strategies for government agencies as well as industries who use the Savannah River’s water, guide water use regulation, help refine various river models, and to generate discussions on that status of current and future water quality issues.

  • Just like you, wildlife and plants need clean water, food, and shelter/habitat. As such our research has focused on answering the fundamental question of whether or not there is suitable habitat and clean water available to support a diverse ecosystem. To answer this question, we measure a specific set of parameters. These parameters (dissolved oxygen, conductivity, flow, temperature, and pH) are the most basic and standard measures of water quality and waterway health. As such, when we collect our data we call it taking the “pulse of the river.” A river with a strong, healthy pulse is much more likely to support a strong, vibrant, and diverse ecosystem, meaning more plants and animals. A river with abnormal values (low DO, restricted flow, pH and conductivity that is too high or too low) however, is not likely to be as ecologically productive.

  • If you are in a municipality close to the Savannah River then it’s likely your municipal water source is the Savannah River. Then according the United States Army Corps of Engineers you are sharing this resource with more than 1.5 million other people who also use it for drinking water.  Additionally you are sharing it with dozens of wastewater treatment facilities, industries, farmers, hydropower plants, and nuclear facilities who also withdraw and discharge into the same river daily.

    Now, there are state and federal agencies that regulate water use and purification standards. However, the number of water users along the Savannah River is increasing. This means an increased demand on and an increasing list of issues and concerns for everyone using this finite resource.

  • While many water based organizations do education and public outreach, we are first and foremost a science based research organization. This means that we also conduct solutions-based research and collect data in an unbiased, objective manner. It is very important that the information we generate and provide be relevant to everyone concerned with water quality issues.