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4Team's Book

By Kendra, Davis, Josh, Thomas, Taz and, Alastair

All of 4Teams jobs
1. Biodiversity- Davis 2. Waves tides and currents- Kendra 3. Water chemistry- Thomas 4. Island/beach morphology- Alastair 5. Sand composition- Taz 6. Conclusion and intro- Josh

Intro to dredging:
Dredging is the process of making a body of water deeper. Their are many economical benefits to dredging by making a water way deeper more and bigger ships a can access the harbors which brings many new jobs to an area examples of these new jobs include; help load and unload ships and repair groups for the ships. But no one every really thinks about the environmental impact that dredging can have. When you dredge the ocean floor you're not just taking sand off of the bottom, you're destroying the bottom along with any organisms that live there. On a more local level though the dredging of the Charleston harbor will be a huge economic boost for us and bring new jobs to our city. Though this a good thing for people the dredging is going to greatly affect our marine life especially our bottom dwelling organisms such as crabs and shrimps. While creating new jobs is great we have to think about our jobs that are already here, our shrimp trawlers and crab fisherman will suffer the most because of the dredging project. While dredging may be beneficial to us in the short term we need to consider the long term affects that this will have on on economy and our local environment and wild life. But the reason we are doing our studies on Sullivan's is because this is the closest island to the open ocean and port mouth.

Why Sullivan's?
We studied at Sullivan’s Island to observe the environmental factors that will be affected by dredging in the Charleston harbor. While we were there we found numerous species of marine animals. This gave us a closer look at the impact that dredging will have. With dredging these animals might lose their habitats, which is one of the disadvantages of dredging. But, dredging in the harbor will provide more advantages to the people living in Charleston. While we were on the beach, we were also able to interview locals, as well as tourists, on whether they think the government should or should not dredge in the harbor. Majority of the people interviewed said that they should start dredging the harbor. The advantages of dredging in the harbor include; allowing larger ships to come through for sales, such as bigger cargo ships that can bring in greater loads providing more money for the city, as well as allowing national defense ships to come in.

On the day of the Sullivan's Island beach field trip we made many tests from seining to the water chemistry test. To complete all of these tests we had to work as a team to get these done, meaning good management. The tests made were seining, cast netting, water chemistry, sand composition, inert viewing locals, GPS'ing Sullivan's island, and wave tides and currents. During the day we all had to do our own part than come back to school and gathered our data to make this book. The way that you do all of these tests sound hard but actually aren't hard at all. Seining is done by dragging a weighted net through the water and drag it back up on to the shore, so that fish are on the shore but in the net. The next thing we did was cast netting which Davis did all day. Casting is done by carefully throwing the net to a spot and it sinks, pull it in and hopefully you have fishes. GPSing included a walk down the beach and taking coordinates. The two hardest things were the sand composition and water chemistry which none of us did because our data collectors were not on the trip.

Biodiversity of Sullivan's Island
On our trip to Sullivan's island we completed many tasks that have to do with biodiversity. The tasks we did were seining and cast netting, catching many different organisms. Some of the organisms that we caught were very unusual to catch many of, like the Cow Nose Ray. The seiners found many new organisms that many of us have never caught, and throughout the day the only thing we caught in the cast net was the Sheepshead and some common Sardines.

Biodiversity in an environment is indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals

Our biodiversity
Organisms found on trip ranked by "commonness" 1-5, with 5 being found often
ANNELIDA lug worm 1 shingle tube worm 2 CRUSTACEA blue crab1 fiddler crab 4 ghost crab 1 speckled swimmer 1 portly spider crab 1 acorn barnacle 4 CNIDARIA moon jelly 1 mushroom jelly 5 ECHINODERMATA keyhole sand dollar 3 grey sea star 2 CHONDRICTHYES cownose stingray 4 BIRDS snow egret 2 american herring seagull 4 pelican 1 EXTRA Diverse worm holes 5

MOLLUSCA cockle clam 1 knobbed whelk 5 eastern oyster 5 moon snail 1 XIPHOSURAS horseshoe crab 2 FISH pipefish 1 flounder 5 sheepshead 1 stargazer 1 mullet 1 eel 1

Waves, tides, and currents
In class we learned about the properties of waves and how they affect objects in the water. We learned the difference between waves and currents. Regardless of the common misconception that waves move objects through the water, it is actually the currents that move them. Waves actually only cause objects to bob up and down in the water, but it is the force of currents that cause objects to drift in different paths and directions. On our field trip to the beach we proved this fact. We used watermelons and grapefruits to show the effects of waves and currents. Through many trials we got to see how the objects thrown into the water will not move without a current. In one trial, the fruit didn’t move at all, showing that there wasn’t a current at that particular time and place. However, while we were there, we did encounter longshore currents and rip currents. The longshore currents and the rip currents are different because they move from left to right and right to left respectively. Also the rip currents moved much faster where the longshore current is much steadier.

Water chemistry
The phosphate levels in the water tests we took were very low, measured in ppm ( parts per million). The nitrates were also very low possibly because of the area we took the samples in. Ms.VK is testing for nitrates again to check calculations. For saturation in area A, we got around 87%. That is a pretty normal number for the ocean. Since the saturation is at 41% the dissolved oxygen (DO) is going to be a little lower considering sample B is taken past the jetties in different water conditions. The results we got for ammonia levels show that the area was not as healthy as it should be. The temperature was also a little low, but this can be explained because of the time of year.

GPS/Beach Morphology
Introduction: In our group, our objective was to walk at the edge of the beach and plot GPS points using our Iphones. We will use the GPS points for following years to study any effect the dredging might have on the Sullivan’s Island shoreline.

Using the points collected manually from Table 1, we tested their accuracy by plugging the points into Google Earth and seeing if they would plot out the route we walked. Google Earth showed us that the points were inaccurate as you can see by the map of Charleston above. CONCLUSION: As a group, the Beach Morphology and GPS completed their task of collecting points of the beach effectively and efficiently but unfortunately, either due to a malfunctioning Iphone, Iphone App, or inaccurate Google Earth GPS mapping, we were unable to collect accurate data. Therefore our data is unusable for our collective research on the dredging impacts on Charleston waterfronts. As head of the Beach Morphology and GPS group (Alistair Jones), I highly suggest that a new technique be thought of and used to collect GPS points in the following years to avoid coming back with inaccurate points.

For our sand composition test we had to dig 1 by 1/2 meter trenches in different spots on the beach. We had a delay on the data finding part due to the sand not drying quick enough, along with our sand composition person missing the trip. We found that with each different location the results were different. In the dunes, a dark line appeared 10 centimeters into the ground. We concluded that this was previously the top of a former dune. When collecting data for the rock and water lines however, we found limited striations. Striations are series of furrows or ridges. Although the sand in the rock and water lines lacked striations, the dark line that showed up in the dunes could be described as one.

Sand Composition Report

Sand Composition

What we found with the results was that there was a good mix of organisms found at Sullivan’s, which shows that the ecosystem is healthy and shows no sign of becoming a barren wasteland anytime soon. We also found that through water and sand samples that the beach and ocean are in good shape throughout Sullivan’s. If someone wanted to find out if the environment was in danger then sand and water samples would be an easy way to find out. The currents play a key part in how well Sullivan’s is doing. The currents mix the water really well and keep the oxygen level high.


Conclusion Since we were the first classes to conduct this field trip and gather this type of data at Sullivan Island’s beaches, we knew there were going to be some mistakes. Our plans of what we had to do as a group looked good on paper, and generally they worked well at the beach too, minus a few exceptions. Overall groups faced problems in miscommunication, organization, and overall smoothness in their experiments during the day. One problem our group faced is that we had no one present to take down results from the sand composition, but we resolved this by working with another group to get the experiment results. This problem arose from some of our group members not being able to go to the field trip, leaving the group 2 men down; the only way to fix that problem is to come up with a better transportation method. Another problem that was class wide was the GPS results. The points were taken as instructed with the use of an Iphone, but when we plugged them in, the points turned out to be wildly inaccurate (For more information, Go to GPS and Beach Morphology Summary). All other tests were performed with little or no problems. In future data collection, students should look for any significant changes in data that might be harmful to the ecosystem, such as: changes in wildlife appearance, sand composition changes, dune changes, etc…. Also, future students need to look for smaller changes that might go unnoticed.