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Libes to discuss how area growth affects water quality

October 22, 2004

Managing our Watershed: Strategies for maintaining water quality and natural habitats as we grow, a talk by Coastal Carolina University marine science professor Susan Libes, will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Loris Center for Health and Fitness. The event will be repeated Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Waccamaw Center for Higher Education in Litchfield.

Libes, who has been instrumental in raising the level of public awareness about water quality issues in the area, will offer recommendations for grassroots action developed by consensus from a diverse group of local community members.

Libes has long been an advocate of community education as a means to counter the threat of ecosystem deterioration posed by the rapid growth and development of the region. She is director of the Waccamaw Watershed Academy. Sponsored by Coastals Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, the Academy houses an environmental quality laboratory that conducts research and regulatory work on local environmental problems.

Libes also helped form the Waccamaw Waterwatchers, a local volunteer water monitoring group. She has partnered with environmental agencies such as DHEC and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium to deliver training sessions on watershed issues.

Its important that we look at the entire region from a watershed perspective, says Libes, referring to the river systems, including swamps and wetlands, that flow into the ocean through Winyah Bay in Georgetown.

Libes joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 1983. She earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Ocean Engineering.

This public discussion is one of a series of 50 such events planned during 2004-2005 by Coastals College of Natural and Applied Sciences to commemorate Coastals 50th anniversary. For more information, call 349-2202.