Coastal Carolina University marine science professor Susan Libes,
director of the Waccamaw Watershed Academy, is spearheading an effort
to develop a comprehensive management plan for the Kingston Lake Watershed
area near Conway.
The first part of the project, funded by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with the City of Conway and Horry
County, will involve teams of volunteers conducting an assessment of the
area during the week of April 3-7.
The Kingston Lake Watershed drains 130 square miles of Horry County,
including Kingston Lake and Crabtree Creek, before emptying into the
Waccamaw River at Conway. All of these water bodies are currently listed by
the State of South Carolina as impaired for water quality. Assisted by maps
and aerial photographs, field crews will evaluate potential pollution
sources, locate "hotspots" or areas where pollution is especially prevalent,
and suggest restoration opportunities.
According to Libes, an analysis of the survey results will yield
recommendations for practices to help alleviate stormwater pollution. "The
most common prevention methods include lawn care education, pet waste
management, stormwater pond maintenance, natural landscaping and
reforestation, and hotspot pollution prevention," said Libes.
Based on information that will be collected through this and subsequent
surveys, the academy ultimately hopes to produce a community-based watershed
conservation plan for Kingston Lake and its drainage area.
Sponsored by Coastal's Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland
Studies, the Waccamaw Watershed 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.