As seen on WCBD – NBC Count on 2, by Riley Benson
Researchers from The Citadel are taking a closer look at threats hiding in flood waters and marshes across the City of Charleston and surrounding areas.
Plastics and microplastics, tire material and dangerous bacteria could all be lurking below the surface of sunny day flood waters. Researchers with The Citadel are hoping to learn more about the threats posed by the water.
“We’re trying to elevate research here at The Citadel on climate science, there hasn’t been a coordinated effort to do that yet and so through the center we are trying to do that,” says Dr. Scott Curtis, a professor at The Citadel.
The research consists of several projects. It’s part of a $47,000 initiative targeted at learning more about coastal flooding in and around Charleston.
“Marshes out here might be a sink for some of this plastic so it might absorb some of this plastic which is not good for the ecosystems that rely on the marshes,” says Curtis.
The study led by Citadel faculty and cadets will target streets across the peninsula known to flood when the tides get high, even when there’s not rain in the forecast.
“Whenever you have standing water it’s always an area where you can have a growth for bacteria,” says Curtis.
Dr. Curtis is leading the charge here in the Lowcountry but says the threats are far reaching across South Carolina.
“USC, Clemson, College of Charleston and now The Citadel are getting into this because it is such an important aspect to life here in the Lowcountry is better understanding flooding events,” says Curtis.
Several of the projects are already underway with the latest round getting underway just this week. Researches anticipate the projects to take place on a yearly basis.