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Posted 3/24/2017

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By Sean McBride


Charleston District FY16 Year in Review

 

Civil Works

 

  • The Charleston District received a 4.5 out of 5 score in our annual civil works customer survey, which is down from 4.52 last year. We had a response rate of 50 percent.

  • 2 Contributed Funds Agreement (CFAs) approvals for local funding participation in dredging

  • 8 Project Information Reports (PIRs) for Hurricane Joaquin

  • 2 Validation Reports (Myrtle and Folly Beaches)

  • 1 NAV Channel Realignment

  • Dredging Breach Inlet, Jeremy Creek & Turning Basin

  • Dredging Lower Harbor

  • Dredging Entrance Channel

  • Design & Award Middle & Highway Cell Dike Failure/Raising

  • Design & Award Yellow House Creek Ditching

  • Dredging Town Creek

  • Design & Award Upper Harbor

  • Design & Award Lower Harbor

  • Design & Award Murrells Inlet

  • Dike Raising for Sampit River

  • Design Myrtle Beach Reach 3 (EA, BOEM Lease, PEL)

 

Charleston Harbor

  • Dredging:

    • FY15 Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel Maintenance Dredging; awarded September 2015; construction began late due to flooding in the Southwest Pass, LA and operations were suspended prior to completion due to sea turtle activity; will be resumed December 2016; approx. half of 1,500,000 cubic yards for $6.4 million complete

    • FY16 Charleston Upper Harbor Maintenance Dredging; awarded May 2016; 1,572,000 cubic yards; $4.4 million

    • FY16 Charleston Lower Harbor Maintenance Dredging; awarded July 2016; 1,662,000 cubic yards; $8.0 million

  • Earthwork:

    • FY16 Ditching at Yellowhouse Creek Placement Area; awarded May 2016; $915,250

    • FY16 Clouter Creek Disposal Area Middle Cell Dike Construction and Highway Cell Repair; awarded July 2016; $2.8 million Construction; $2.2 million Maintenance

Charleston Harbor Post 45 Harbor Deepening Study

  • In September, issued the supplemental draft Environmental Assessment for the beneficial uses of dredged material from the harbor deepening. Proposed alternatives include habitat enhancements to Crab Bank, Shutes Folly, and Morris Island, as well as the creation of five additional artificial reefs requested by SC DNR. 

  • In July, completed the ship simulation at the Engineer Research Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss. Charleston Harbor Pilots accompanied District personnel to refine the plans and dredging quantities originally proposed in the draft report.

  • In January, the Record of Decision was signed by the Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works). This was the official notification to Congress that all requirements for the project had been met and it was now awaiting authorization and appropriation.

  • In December 2015, signed the Design Agreement with the SC Ports Authority, which laid out the funding plan and officially moved the project into the Preconstruction Engineering and Design Phase.

  • In August, upon completion of Ship Simulation, Entrance Channel designs were initiated.  Delivered Phase I (unconsolidated) and Phase II (consolidated) 65% Drawings and Specifications October 2016.

Survey

  • The Charleston District replaced the aging survey vessel S/V Wilson with the new S/V Heiselman. The Heiselman is a 26-foot catamaran design that was built to handle conditions in the coastal waters of South Carolina and carries a full complement of hydrographic equipment.  A naming/dedication ceremony for the S/V Heiselman was conducted 25 March 2016 when the vessel was officially put into service.

  • Supported the District’s response to Hurricane Joaquin and the subsequent Emergency Management flooding response.  Surveyed all Federal channels and supported PIRs for the flood control projects.

  • Obtained and new multi-beam sonar for Federal channel surveys.

  • Supported the Myrtle Beach shore protection project by surveying beach and borrow areas.

  • Supported Post45 and NPS surveys for Ft. Sumter, Ft. Moultrie, and Shutes Folly (Castle Pinckney).

  • Provided survey support to SAD sister districts.  Supported SAJ with LiDAR surveys of Jacksonville Harbor and LiDAR beach surveys for SAW.

 

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

  • FY15 AIWW Maintenance Dredging at Breach Inlet and Jeremy Creek; awarded September 2015; 369,000 cubic yards; $2.6 million cost share; construction COMPLETE

  • FY16 Town Creek Maintenance Dredging; Wilmington Dredge Merritt rental; June 2016; 42,000 cubic yards; $525,000


Murrells Inlet

  • FY16 Murrells Inlet Maintenance Dredging; awarded September 2016; 585,000 cy; $6.35 million


Cooper River Rediversion Project

  • The St. Stephen hydro generators produced 326,920 MWh during the period. Plant availability was 90.88% with a Forced Outage Rate of 4.86%.  While missing our targets of 95% and 2%, both availability and FOR are excellent compared to SAD averages of 79.79% and 16.96%.

  • Sixteen contract actions and four equipment purchases (through Defense Logistics Agency) were awarded/accomplished during the period, for a grand total of $3.2 million.  Major projects included TVA’s completion of the final Phase of the Cooling Water Piping Project started in 2013, and the fishlift logic controller.  The 2016 Arc Flash Assessment by HDC was also accomplished during the period.

  • During the 2016 migration season between February and May, the fish lift passed approximately 45,000 fish.  The low number was a combination of unusually high water level in the Santee River as a result of spilling from the Wilson Dam, and a hydraulic issue with entry Gate 1.

  • In March, hosted 25 Wounded Warriors at the St. Stephen Fishlift for our Second Annual Wounded Warrior Fishing Day. The Charleston District hosted the event in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Ashley Hall School. The event was very successful, allowing the Wounded Warriors an opportunity to relax in an environment of their peers.

  • In May 2016, hired an EFS Maintenance Control technician to assist with maintenance work flow management and safety.

  • In August 2016, initiated the first federal government pollinator program in South Carolina with the installation of 10 bee hives on our property that will result in 500,000 bees. The project supports the Administration’s and the USACE’s Pollinator Protection Plans, and we are the first agency in South Carolina to have one.

  • In September 2016, hosted the Third Annual Sweetgrass Pulling Day at the Cooper River Rediversion Project. More than 50 sweetgrass basket makers and their families participated in the event, as well as more than 50 students/parents from Miracle Academy, who came to learn how to pull sweetgrass for the first time.  The event was covered by two news channels and no fewer than two print media outlets.

  • In September 2016, hosted our Second Annual Warriors and Veterans Dove Hunt at the Cooper River Rediversion Project.  The event was planned and executed in partnership with SCDNR and coordinators from three Warrior/Veterans groups. There was no shortage of birds flying and shots taken.



Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Spatial Data

 

  • Re-engaged internal partners (NAV, PM, and Regulatory) to provide assistance in developing requirements and to provide quality spatial data products
  • The team developed a script to automatically read contractor’s disposal logs, which drastically reduces labor/time on our DQM efforts

 

Asset Management

 

  • Met the ‘go-live’ date of 30 September 2016 for the MAXIMO instance for the 81st Army Reserve.
  • Coordinated a path forward for cloud computing for this application
  • The team has strategized on how to expand our services to other SAC Divisions/Branches.

 

Semmes Lake Dam

  • Working with the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Jackson to develop a future plan for Semmes Lake Dam and Legion Lake Dam, which were destroyed during the historic flooding event of October 2015.

Military Construction

  • The Charleston District received an overall fiscal year 2015 score of 4.53 with a 72.4 percent response rate on the Military Customer Satisfaction Survey. To put this score into perspective, in FY10, FY11, FY12, FY13 and FY14, the District received a 4.34, 4.42, 4.56, 4.62 and 4.63 respectively.

Fort Jackson

  • FY16 execution consisted of 107 Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) and Military Construction (MILCON) contract actions for a total of $88 million. The Charleston District has 13 projects at $103 million currently under construction.

  • Continued work under the Facility Investment Services contract to conduct preventive maintenance and perform service calls in any of 68 specified buildings. Work includes repairs to door handles, pumps, showers, toilets or ceiling tiles. In FY16, we completed 8146 service calls under this contract.



81st Regional Support Command

  • Executed 363 contracting actions for $32.5 million.
  • Created the Military Asset Resource System (MARS) as an innovative tool for our ever-growing Facility Investment Services capability.
  • In August, held a Line Item Review meeting with the 81st leadership who indicated our team had moved beyond execution and had evolved into a team that proactively enhances the 81st’s mission.

 

Joint Base Charleston

  • Executed 63 contracting actions for $5.5 million, several under the Job Order Contract with Joint Base.

     

National Reimbursable and Interagency/ International Support

Marine Forces Reserves

  • Executed 77 contract actions totaling $19.8 million to support the MARFORRES SRM, Facility Investment and Environmental Programs, coordinating active construction work through multiple USACE geographic Districts.

  • Continued partnered response with the New York District to renovate the reserve center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. We are managing the project while New York oversees the construction.

     

Veterans Health Administration

  • Executed 1 contract action totaling $12.7 million to support the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, GA to construct a new central utility plant and complete selected utility system upgrades.  This is a partnered response with Savannah District for management and oversight of the project construction.


Department of State

  • Executed 1 contract action totaling $12.6k to support repairs to Bldg 644 at their Charleston Resource Center, located at the Charleston Federal Complex in Charleston, SC.

Defense Logistic Agency- Distribution

  • Executed 103 contract actions totaling $34.0 million to support the DLA Installation Support for Distribution SRM and Fire Protection Programs, coordinating active construction work through multiple USACE geographic Districts.  FY16 execution also supported DLA Installation Support HQ for audit assertion contracted professional services and DLA Installation Support for Disposition for A-E services for their Fort Jackson Disposition site.

Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration

  • Executed 3 contract actions totaling $61.3k to support NNSA for contract QA support at the MOX project.  Provided QA and Technical Support to DOE-EM for the Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) Tank 6 construction.  Completed 4 lease appraisals for DOE-EM, using Savannah District Real Estate support, for new cell tower sites at SRS.


Regulatory

  • Issued 711 general permits with 90.4% issued in less than 60 days

  • Issued 94 individual permits with 26.7% in less than 120 days

  • Completed 1312 jurisdictional determinations

  • Performed 110 compliance inspections

  • Resolved 46 non-compliance/enforcement cases.

 

  • Travis Hughes, the District’s special projects branch chief since 2006, was hired as the new Chief of the Regulatory Division after the retirement of the previous chief. 

  • Hired one Watershed Manager and two Regulatory Project Managers (Pathways Program) to improve service our customers in the northeastern South Carolina. Hired two senior project managers, four recent graduates, one Archeologist, and one Program Analyst to backfill existing positions that have been vacated through attrition.  

Outreach

 

  • Regulatory Division assisted in an outreach event at the Santee Cooper Environmental Fair in April 2016.  

  • Regulatory Division participated in STEM Fest on January 6, 2016.  STEM Fest was a public event, primarily for children, held in Brittlebank Park that highlighted careers and opportunities in STEM Fields.  Topics included how to delineate wetlands and the permitting process. Project Managers also demonstrated to students how to describe and interpret soil color and texture.

  • Regulatory Division participated in the STEM College and Career Conference hosted by the SC Aquarium on February 8, 2016.  This event was a career and college fair for current high school students in the local area.  Regulatory set up a booth and provided information to students about potential job opportunities and what we do at the Corps.  Regulatory’ s Mobile Kiosk was available to walk students through the permitting process.

  • Regulatory Participated in 2 outreach events during career day at Blackwater Middle School (Conway) and St. James Middle School (Socastee).

  • Regulatory Division’s project managers served on the panel for the NOAA Marine Debris Program Incident Waterway Removal Response Planning Workshop on Jun 27, 2016.

  • Regulatory participated in an outreach Event at The Ponds of Summerville.  The Ponds of Summerville, a planned community near the Town of Summerville surrounded by wetlands, requested Regulatory Division staff do a presentation on the benefits of wetlands, wetland permitting, and nature corridors as part of their Conservation Lecture Series. Positive feedback was given after the Lecture and the Corps was invited back to give future lectures and field exercises.   

  • Regulatory Division finalized an Applicant’s Handbook, which is available via our website that provides information on the Charleston District’s permitting process. 

     

    Training

     

  • Hired two new supervisors during the year who attended a headquarters seminar for new supervisors. The seminar provided basic training and guidance on budget, corporate communications, administrative appeals, leadership styles and other critical elements required to become an effective leader in the Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program.
  • The Regulatory Division began an internal Monthly Newsletter highlighting relevant regulatory topics to provide updates, information and reminders to Regulators.  The newsletter is intended to assist in consistency, provide updates, and improve knowledge and understanding of pertinent topics within the Division.

 

Emergency Permitting 

 

  • In October 2015, the Charleston District initiated Emergency Permit procedures for any work associated with emergency oceanfront beach nourishment and/or the repair and installation of utility lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure and structures necessary to mitigate the impacts of Hurricane Joaquin. The emergency permit is for projects that do not fit the NWPs, any GPs, or exemptions. The procedures included coordinating with resource agencies within 24 hours of receipt of application, reviewing the project to ensure it was a direct result from Hurricane Joaquin, and issuing a permit for work. The emergency permit procedures were in effect for 6 months from the event and work had to be completed within 180 days. During that time, the Charleston District issued several emergency permits for projects impacted from Hurricane Joaquin.
  • Regulatory worked closely with SCDOT after the flooding event post Hurricane Joaquin and ultimately worked with SCDOT on over 350 total bridge and road repair projects, authorizing over 50 nationwide permits for expeditious repairs.

 

Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District

 

  • The Northwest Branch expeditiously issued a permit for the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District to develop a Logistics Park adjacent to the existing Inland Port in Greer.  The permit was complex due to two public notices and off-site permittee-responsible mitigation.  The Corps issued the permit within 10 days of receipt of required information and three days after the 401 water quality certification was issued by the state.  


Federal Consent Decrees

 

  • Charleston District executed two federal consent decrees that resulted from 404 violations.  The Corps worked closely with the US Department of Justice on the preparation and execution of the consent decrees and continues to work with the Department of Justice and the defendants to ensure compliance with the decrees.  Both federal consent decrees included provisions requiring the defendants to complete Environmental Compliance Promotion Projects.  These projects were recently completed through a series of workshops that took place in October 2016. 

 

 

Palmetto Railways Intermodal Container Transfer Facility

  • The Charleston District is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the potential impacts associated with the proposed construction and operation of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), located on the former Charleston Naval Complex in North Charleston, SC. Palmetto Railways intends to construct and operate an ICTF on the CNC in North Charleston. Held a public meeting on May to receive comments on the Draft EIS. Currently, the District is reviewing comments and awaiting an application from Palmetto Railways.

Union Pier Terminal

  • In April, held a public hearing on the Union Pier Terminal. Provided additional information about several of the major concerns identified thus far in response to the public notice this past fall. Approximately 120 people attended the meeting and almost 40 made statements during the public hearing portion of the meeting. 

 

Interstate 73

  • In July, issued the 30 day public notice for the revised application to construct 76 miles of highway through South Carolina. In response to the public notice, the Corps received approximately 10,200 form letters in support of the project and of all the letters received, approximately 200 providing specific comments or concerns pertaining to the proposed work.   It addition, the Corps received comment letters from resource agencies and environmental groups to include USFWS, SCDNR, USEPA, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), SC Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCDPRT), Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), and SC Environmental Law Project (SCELP). 

International Drive

  • In July, issued the permit authorizing the widening and paving of International Drive.  The project will significantly improve medical, fire and police access to a large number of the growing population as well as serve as an evacuation route during major storm events.  

 

Singleton Swash Stabilization Project

 

  • In May, issued the permit to stabilize the mouth of Singleton Swash.  The project incorporated cutting edge technology that resulted in an environmentally sound design and cost savings to Horry County.  Prior to the permanent solution afforded by this project, the county spent an average of $250,000 per year on remedial measures authorized by a previous permit.

 

Mercedes-Benz Project

  • Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC submitted a permit application for the purpose of expanding their existing assembly facility located in North Charleston. The proposed work consists of filling 18.38 acres of wetlands located on three adjacent parcels. In April, we issued a Public Notice. Currently, the applicant is preparing a response to our 404(b)(1) letter as well as responses to comments submitted by the resource agencies and the public. Met with them in August to continue discussions.


Mitigation Banks

  • Released mitigation bank credits after review of monitoring reports, post construction reports, and other documents and site visits for Brosnan Forest Mitigation Bank, Carter Stilley Mitigation Bank, Clydstale Mitigation Bank, Mill Creek Mitigation Bank, Sweetleaf Swamp Mitigation Bank, and Taylors Creek Mitigation Bank.
  • Currently working with 22 proposed banks in various stages of completion with new proposals coming in weekly
  • Currently tracking 27 approved banks in the State of SC


 
Emergency Management

  • 3 District personnel served in Afghanistan in Support of the Overseas Contingency Operations.

  • In September, attended the Coast Guard Table Top Exercise, a joint effort with the Coast Guard, NOAA and USACE to discuss hazards in the Federal Channel following a storm event and how they would be removed.  The SC Ports Authority, Charleston County and State Emergency Management Division were also in attendance.

  • Worked to develop the District's Emergency Management Accreditation Program, District is currently being self-assessed at 85% complete towards Accreditation.  We are looking to reach 100% by 31 December 2016.

  • In August, District EM, along with USACE Debris Subject Matter Expert (SME) and the South Atlantic Division, EM Chief, attended a Wet Debris workshop with NOAA, Coast Guard and other members of the Emergency Response/Recovery community.  The workshop focused on creating a "wet debris" plan for the State of South Carolina and addresses how Federal, State and local partners communicate to address and remove "web debris" following a disaster event.

  • In April, the District participated in the South Carolina Full-Scale Exercise, where Federal, state, regional and local agencies gathered to identify and test capabilities necessary to save lives and protect the public and property.

South Carolina Flood Response

  • In October 2015, a historic rain event, coupled with Hurricane Joaquin, struck South Carolina and caused major flooding issues and damage throughout the entire state.  The Emergency Management team deployed numerous individuals throughout the state to inspect dams, report on damage, work with the State EOC and much more. This effort led to numerous missions being assigned to the Charleston District to include Project Information Reports (PIRs) required for both Flood Risk Management (FRM) projects and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) projects throughout the state.

  • Recently, the District stood up the Crisis Management Team (CMT) and the Crisis Action Team (CAT) to prepare for Hurricane Matthew. Governor Hailey issued evacuations for many citizens in the low country area, including the major coastal counties of South Carolina as the Storm intensified and had tracked towards South Carolina.  Selected members of the District's CAT remained behind and took shelter at our St Stephen Hydropower facility, riding out the storm and provided support to the State EOC, conducted accountability of SAC personnel, assessed damages to USACE facilities and projects, assisted NOAA and the US Coast Guard in reopening the State's ports, and prepared to receive FEMA mission assignments.  Currently District personnel are working on Project Information Reports (PIRs) for many of the damaged Flood Risk Management (FRM) and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM).

Other Building Strong Actions

 

  • Contracting:

    • Completed 754 contracting actions, equaling $216 million in contract awards.

Exceeded our overall small business goal for the fifth year in a row along with our Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business goal. The overall Small Business goal was 63.24 percent and we achieved 76.81 percent for a variance of 4.57 percent. The goal for small disadvantaged businesses was 35.80 percent and we achieved 21.67 percent;  the goal for Women-owned Small Businesses was 15.99 percent which we achieved 11.66 percent; the goal for HUBZone businesses was 20.49 percent and 17.44 percent was achieved and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses goal was 3.72 percent and 12.03 percent was achieved.

  • Media:

    • Charleston District public website had 168,326 visits and 1,764,433 page views, compared to 98,479 visits and 2,080,254 page views, meaning people clicked through more than 10 pages on the site each time they visited (http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/). The most popular page on our website was our Regulatory home page. Our busiest day on the site was on the release of the Post 45 905b Analysis at the Industry Day, which attracted more than 1,000 unique viewers and 47,000 page views.

    • The Charleston District Facebook page currently has 1,343 “likes,” up from 784 last year (https://www.facebook.com/CharlestonCorps).

    • Twitter followers grew to 2,790, up from 2,342 last year (http://twitter.com/CharlestonCorps).

    • The District Instagram page shares photos with 450 followers, up from 131last year (http://instagram.com/Charlestoncorps).

    • Conducted dozens of media engagements, including the Third Annual Sweetgrass Pulling Day and the Second Annual Wounded Warrior Fishing Tournament, both at our Cooper River Rediversion Project.

       

  • Community Service:

    • Participated in the “Feds Feed Families” food drive, collecting 100 pounds of food for the Lowcountry Food Bank.

    • The Charleston District completed another Combined Federal Campaign contributing more than $30,000 to local, national, and international charities.

    • Contributed more than 100 employee-donated toys to the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots program at Christmas. These toys help ensure that all the children in the community have a joyous holiday season.

    • The Charleston District Family Readiness Network organized several collection drives for employees deployed to Afghanistan. These included things such as Thanksgiving cards, cookies, Halloween candy, water additives and drink mixes, and several signed posters for holidays, and held several welcome home celebrations whenever someone returned.

    • Employee volunteers conducted a beach cleanup on the District’s Adopt-a-Beach section of Folly Beach.

  • Our South Carolina Aquarium partners opened a display on the Cooper River Rediversion Project and the Fishlift. The new feature shows the connecting link between the ocean and SC river system displays in the aquarium’s outstanding “Watersheds” section.  The display highlights the District’s missions and partnerships, and provides our natural resource messages to the next generation of conservation-minded citizens.  The SC Aquarium hosts an average of 430,000 visitors per year.

  • In May, in conjunction with the Federal Executive Association, the District assisted with hosting the Second Annual Federal Agencies Informational Exhibition as a part of Public Service Recognition Week. The intent of the event was to highlight to Lowcountry citizens the many great things that federal agencies do for them. Most of the federal agencies in the area participated with the displays.

  • In October 2015, hosted the first-ever Federal Executive Associations stakeholder’s reception. This reception brought the leadership from 35 different federal agencies from around the Lowcountry together with 80 key public servants, to include three mayors, many members of the state delegation, congressional staffers, city and county council members, as well as leaders from local large businesses.

     

  • Awards:

  • The Charleston District STEM Team was awarded the National STEM Team Award from USACE Headquarters for excellence in STEM outreach.

  • Mark Messersmith, planning branch, was selected as one of the 2016 Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Forty Under 40. Each year, the Business Journal and its partners, recognize 40 individuals under 40 years of age who represent some of the highly engaged professionals living and working in the Charleston area. Mark was chosen because of his love and passion for the environment that he puts into his work at the District daily as a biologist.

  • In April, our Logistics Office received the Excellence in Logistics award at the ULA Annual Leadership Conference. The award is based on various metrics that are applied to all District Logistics Offices in USACE. This year is the second year in a row that the Charleston District ULA won the award.   

  • In March, the Charleston District’s Corporate Communications office won the Special Events Category in the Keith L. Ware Public Affairs awards competition with our “Pulling for Unity: Harvesting Sweetgrass in Memory of Mother Emanuel Victims" event.  Our 1st place in the Corps’ Kassner awards moved us into this Army wide competition, as we represented USACE. After winning this honor, they moved into competition with other winners in the various community relations categories to be named the winner of the Kathy Canham-Ross Award of Distinction.

  • In February, the Corporate Communications Office took home six awards in the USACE Herbert A. Kassner Public Affairs Awards competition.

  • In May, Regulatory’s Jim Struble was named Federal Employee of the Year in the “Technical” category at the annual Charleston Federal Executive Association Awards

  • Charleston District won the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce “Rock Star” award for 2016 for accomplishments related to Post 45.

     

  • Training:

  • In August, held graduation for the Leadership Development Program Level 2 with three Charleston District employees and eight Wilmington District employees.

    • In June, conducted our Safety Stand-Down to get employees up-to-date on current safety trainings issued by the Army and USACE.

    • Four Planning and Environmental Branch staff completed the required Planning CAPSTONE training.

    • One Planning and Environmental Branch staff member completed the Liaison training on Corps EM missions and functions.  As well as the FEMA hurricane resilience planning class. 

       

       

  • Certifications:

  • Planning and Environmental Branch Chief, Diane Perkins, maintained her American Institute of Certified Planners credential.

     

     

  • Meetings:

    • In September, met with South Carolina State University’s new president, James Clark, who recently took over. Discussed what we could do to increase minority representation in the Corps. Determined we will have more role models go speak to their students.

    • In August, met with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey about the construction of the Hugh Leatherman port terminal and Palmetto Railways Intermodal Container Transfer Facility and their impacts on his city.

    • In August, met with the Department of the Army Inspector General to provide valuable input which may help streamline the hiring process in the future.

    • The 133rd Construction Management Team coordinated a trip to the Charleston District to learn about USACE, the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, and our management of construction projects. In addition to the leaders from the 133rd, a few officers from the 27th Engineer Battalion also participated in the visit. We provided them several overview briefs and hosted them at our Lowcountry Construction Field Office. We also coordinated a tour of Fort Sumter focused on the engineering side of the fort. Finally, they toured our Cooper River Rediversion Project prior to heading back to Bragg.

    • In April, met with the Catawba Indians. Completed an important milestone in the repatriation of the remains of 59 Catawba ancestors discovered and excavated prior to the construction of the St. Stephen Powerhouse. The documents were singed to transfer over the ownership of the remains to the Catawba Nation.

    • Jesse Helton represented Charleston District at the 93rd Coastal Engineering Research Board (CERB) meeting held in Puerto Rico in August 2016, and upon return provided a brown bag presentation back to the Charleston District.

    • Two Planning and Environmental Branch staff attended the SAD Continuing Authorities Program workshop in Jacksonville, FL.  Upon return to the Charleston District, they provided a brown bag lunch presentation. 

       

       

STEM

  • In September, presented on our underwater mapping and survey activities to fifth graders at Pye Elementary School in North Charleston.

  • In April, Lt. Col. Matthew Luzzatto and Maj. Nathan Molica, commander and deputy commander, participated in the Charleston Chamber of Commerce’s Principal for the Day program. Each officer shadowed a local principal to see how they operated the school. As a part of the program, the two principals then came to the District to shadow us. As a whole, the program was worthwhile for both parties. One of our goals was to look for opportunities for our employees and for the District to promote careers in STEM and public service. 

  • Brad Ryczko mentored the West Ashley High School Robotics team and in March they won three awards at the SC VEX State Championship in Lexington, SC. They won Tournament Champion, the Overall Competitive Award, and an Excellence Award. The team previously qualified for the National Championship in early April in Iowa, but this victory qualified them for the World Tournament in Kentucky at the end of April.

  • The District began using Bobber the Water Safety Dog as a promotional tool for children to wear their life jackets on the water. In the first year, Bobber appeared at many events, including the Charleston Christmas Parade, South Carolina Stingrays hockey games, Charleston RiverDogs baseball games, school visits, STEM Fest and many more.