US Army Corps of Engineers
Charleston District Website

Charleston District FY 14 Accomplishments

Corporate Communications
Published Nov. 14, 2014
Containers loaded about the MSC Rita.

Containers loaded about the MSC Rita.

Charleston District FY14 Year in Review

 Civil Works

Charleston Harbor

    ·  Dredging:

    o   Charleston Lower Harbor, October 2013, 1.3 million cubic yards, $5.7 million

    o   Joint Base & TC Dock, March 2014, 1.1 million cubic yards, $3.4 million

    o   Charleston Entrance Channel, March 2014, 1.8 million cubic yards, $6.5 million

    o   Charleston Lower Harbor Supplemental (includes anchorage basin and placement area maintenance), April 2014, 333,212 cubic yards, $3.3 million

    o   Shem Creek, December 2013, 151,000 cubic yards, $946,400

Charleston Harbor Post 45 Harbor Deepening Study

    ·         Completed the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft FR/EIS proposes a tentatively selected plan to deepen the major shipping channels within the harbor from 45 to 52 feet at an estimated cost of $509 million. The cost would be shared between the federal government and the South Carolina State Ports Authority at $166 million and $343 million, respectively.

    ·         South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will accept hard material from the entrance channel for habitat creation at the 25-acre Charleston near shore reef. Environmental staff is coordinating with SCDNR and other agencies as well as shrimpers to discuss issues related to creating two 33-acre patch reefs from limestone rock from the channel and six 33-acre solid fill reefs along the entrance channel. Cost estimates indicate a cost reduction of about $1 million.

 Edisto Island

     ·         A successful Civil Works Review Board was held in March. The District and the sponsor, the Town of Edisto Beach, did an excellent job of briefing USACE Headquarters about the project, the recommended plan and why this project is important to the nation. A Chief’s Report was signed in September. Currently awaiting construction authorization and appropriations to begin the Preconstruction Engineering and Design Phase.

    ·         In October 2013, we held a public meeting in the Town of Edisto Beach to hear local concerns about whether or not certain groins will be extended as part of the storm damage reduction project.

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

    ·         Completed condition surveys of Little River to Bucksport, Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor, and Charleston Harbor to Port Royal reaches.

Georgetown Harbor

    ·         Completed condition surveys of Georgetown Harbor, Upper, Middle, and Lower Winyah Bay, and Georgetown Entrance Channel.

Polk Swamp

    ·         Federal Interest Determination report was approved in May indicating approval to continue the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement (FCSA) was executed with Dorchester County in August. The District began identifying and collecting initial data needs for the Feasibility Phase, including geospatial data, hydraulic data, environmental data, etc. 

Cooper River Rediversion Project

    ·         The upgrades to our CRRP Visitor Center at St. Stephen are complete.  Nearly every facet of the experience changed - new videos, AV equipment, the 'fish cam,’ floors, walls, seating, lighting, new artwork and displays, and road signage. We will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony before the fish lift season begins in the spring, but this upgrade is the first step. Our goal is to continue upgrades to foster future work on STEM, hands-on learning experiences for the kids, lesson planning, and other opportunities.       

    ·         In May, participated in our regular St. Stephen Partnering Session with representatives from Santee Cooper and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Important topics discussed in the meeting included partnering initiatives on the fish lift, dam safety, aquatic plant control, and minimum lake level study.  The event further strengthened our relationships with our St. Stephen water resource partners.

    ·         SCDNR’s South Carolina Wildlife Magazine highlighted the St. Stephen Fishlift as “One of the 12 places in SC that you have to visit” in its July/August calendar issue.

    ·         Despite unusually cold water temperatures and a passage season shortened due to essential repairs, passed approximately 215,000 fish during the spring migration season.

    ·         Replaced Unit 3 generator air housing cooling water piping during the September 2014 quadrennial maintenance outage at the St. Stephen Powerhouse.

    ·         Hired two new powerhouse trainees.

Lake Marion Regional Water Project

     ·         To date, 28 miles of the 75 total miles of water transmission lines have been completed. The contract for the Holly Hill to Harleyville Reach transmission line was awarded in September, which will add 6.6 miles to the system.

Fairfield County PAS

    ·         The final report summarizing the analysis of the engineering, environmental, and economic feasibility of establishing a county-wide water supply system, and recommended options for augmenting the water system for the Town of Winnsboro, Fairfield County, SC, was provided to the customer in July. The final study cost was under budget at a total cost of $315,749.

Lexington PAS

    ·         The Corps is assisting Lexington County by analyzing potential measures to address flood-related impacts in the Kinley Creek watershed, including conceptual level designs, cost estimates, benefits, potential impacts, and permitting requirements.

    ·         The District initiated data collection, analysis of alternatives, assessment of environmental considerations, began coordinating with other agencies, and conducted property site inventory. The final study report will be completed in FY 15.

Folly Beach

    ·         Placed 1.4 million cubic yards of sand on 5.34 miles of Folly Beach to help provide protection against storm damage to people and property on Folly Beach. The $31.7 million project (with 15 percent cost-share from the City of Folly Beach) was executed by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC of Oakbrook, Ill.

    ·         Local news channels 4 and 5 covered the post-storm survey of Folly Beach in the wake of Hurricane Arthur. Both stories positively highlighted our efforts in support of the beach.  They are available for viewing at the following links:

    o   http://www.abcnews4.com/story/25980855/army-corps-folly-in-good-shape-after-arthur

    o   http://www.live5news.com/story/25980900/3d-laser-technology-used-to-survey-damage-to-folly-beach-after-brush-with-hurricane-arthur

    ·         Corporate Communications held a media day on Dredge Alaska with ABC News 4 and the Post and Courier.  Media day was a success and the story focused on "dredge life" with numerous employees of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock interviewed.

    o   http://www.abcnews4.com/story/24947066/view-from-the-dredge-replenishing-folly-from-4-miles-offshore

    ·         The District held a stakeholders meeting, student STEM outreach event, and a public workshop in February. We had a great turnout for each event with multiple media outlets reporting. 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
 
     
·         A new branch was established within the District called the Spatial Data Branch. It was created to perform practicable and innovative Geographic Information Systems (GIS) products and services to our customers. The Spatial Data Branch is composed of professional GIS System Administrators, Image and Remote Sensing Analysts, Cartographic Technicians, Spatial Asset Management Administrators and Spatial Model Builders. The core values are to focus on the customers by building partnerships and producing quality results.

    ·         The Spatial Data Branch successfully executed a 4.2 million geospatial services contract. The contract has more than 50 positions to support the District’s mission. The contract has the ability to place a contractor at various sites to meet our customers’ needs.

    ·         After our GIS Team’s involvement with deploying ArcPortal services, the visibility of Charleston District project data internally and externally have greatly increased, and enabled us to streamline internal business processes. Feedback from local commercial mariners and the Pilots Association has been positive, and the District is able to understand and meet their specific data needs, in turn allowing them to increase efficiency within their organizations.
 
 
Military Construction

    ·         The Charleston District received an overall fiscal year 2013 score of 4.52 with a 75.6 percent response rate on the Military Customer Satisfaction Survey. To put this score into perspective, in FY10, FY11 and FY12, the District received a 4.34, 4.42 and 4.56 respectively.

Fort Jackson

·         FY14 execution consisted of one military construction and 15 sustainment, restoration and maintenance projects for a total of $44 million. The Charleston District has 13 projects at $265 million currently under construction. In addition to our on-going projects, we are also assisting Fort Jackson with their coordination with Huntsville to support the Army’s Separate and Secure initiative at the barracks on Fort Jackson. The Separate and Secure project supports Fort Jackson’s SHARP initiatives in terms of incident prevention.
 
81st Regional Support Command

    ·         Hired 14 new term-employees to support the US Army Reserve 81st Regional Support Command.

    ·         Charleston District has awarded nineteen Facility Investment and Municipal Services Contracts covering nine states (SC, NC, FL, GA, KY, TN, AL, MS, LA) and Puerto Rico providing $140 million in contract capacity and approximately 63 construction projects totaling $41 million.

    ·         Executed 205 contracting actions for $37 million.

    ·         The 81st RSC and Charleston District have partnered to develop a Sustainment, Restoration, and Maintenance Program that is leading the way for the US Army Reserves. The other RSCs (63d, 99th and 88th) are all working with other Corps districts to develop similar programs to the 81st RSC. Charleston District is working closely with the other Corps districts and RSCs to provide training and support.

Joint Base Charleston

    ·         In October, hosted the Commander of Joint Base Charleston, Col. Jeffery DeVore, for a visit to the District. Provided Col. DeVore with a command brief overview of the District and a programmatic summary of the support we provide to the Joint Base with regard to extending his organic Air Force capabilities to cover the needs of the Naval Weapons Station. 

    ·         Executed 70 contracting actions for $14.4 million, several under the new Job Order Contract with Joint Base, including repairing overhead lighting, upgrading restrooms, constructing new offices and installing an HVAC system, as well as replacing rotting timber cap rails along a dock.

 

Interagency and International Support

Marine Forces Reserves

    ·         Charleston District attended two semi-annual line item reviews with MARFORRES. MARFORRES continues to express a high level of confidence in the District’s support in managing and executing their program.

    ·         Executed $25 million in obligations to support MARFORRES FSRM, Planned Preventive Maintenance and Environmental Programs, including:

    -       BUILDER development and land-use surveys ($5.9 million)

    -       Southeast and West PM Contracts, Option Year 1

    -       MARFORRES HQ Additional Fuel Tank Installation ($1.7 million)

    -       DDC Installation at MCRCs Omaha and Quantico ($434,700)

    -       Wash Facilities PM Contract, Option Year 4 ($680,100)

    -       MCRC Texarkana Tactical Parking Expansion ($647,800)

    -       Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) Repairs at Various MCRCs ($5.1 million)

    -       MCRC Joliet Vehicle Maintenance Facility (VMF) Renovation ($1.6 million)

Veteran’s Administration

     ·         Completed construction of the Mental Health Research Addition at the Charleston VAMC.  Final construction cost for the facility was $8.5 million. The facility provides lab and clinical space to develop treatment plans and clinical application to support veterans experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health-related symptoms. The 16,000 square foot, one-story building has been constructed to support future expansion of up to five stories.

    ·         Completed an A-E supported planning study for the VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) National Office for $377,300. The final report delivered to the VA provided a facility requirements package that will support future development of one or more CMOP facilities through either leased-space renovation, purchase or renovation of existing facilities or new construction.

Department of State

    ·         In April, met with Department of State representatives, including Dr. Keith Miller, SES, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations, Bureau of Administration. This engagement focused on support that the District has provided to DOS at the Charleston Federal Complex, including the Building 644 renovation project. DOS expressed confidence with the District relative to our execution and customer focus.

    ·         Awarded two Job Order Contracts for Building 644 Server Room Supplemental HVAC installation, Roof Drain Drainage Improvements, and ADA Ramp Installation for $60,600

National Park Service

     ·         In March, met with Tim Stone, the National Park Service superintendent at Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie, and Sandy Pusey-Cameron, Chief of Facility Management. We toured Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie and discussed opportunities, issues, and concerns that NPS has at the two parks where Corps assistance through Charleston District could be provided.  We also addressed the current status of Post 45 feasibility study, with specific focus on the ship traffic analysis and impacts from wake-generated wave action to Fort Sumter.
 
Defense Logistic Agency- Distribution

    ·         Attended two semi-annual line item reviews with DLA. The first review included a recap of FY13 execution and forecasted the FY14 workload.  The second review addressed progress on active design and construction workload, year-end award commitments and FY15 workload forecast. DLA continues to express a high level of confidence in the District’s support in managing and executing their program.

    ·         Executed $21.1 million in FY14 obligations to support DLA Installation Support for Distribution Sustainment, Restoration and Maintenance, Fire Protection and Planned/Preventive Maintenance Programs, including:

    o   Red River, Texas- DDRT Facilities Maintenance Contract ($4.3 million)

    o   Red River, Texas- DDRT Energy Upgrades ($5.2 million)

    o   Warner Robbins, Georgia- DDWG Transportation Office Building 365 ($749,700)

Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration

    ·         Continue to provide construction oversight and technical support to DOE-EM for the Saltstone Disposal Unit Tank #6 project, which will provide capability for long-term storage of a processed grout mixture that contains low-level radiological waste.

    ·         Continue to provide construction oversight and technical support to NNSA for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) project, which supports conversion of military grade nuclear fuel to commercial grade nuclear fuel.

Shaw Air Force Base

    ·         Charleston District completed an A-E supported study ($39,900) to enable Shaw AFB to achieve stringent goals for diversion of recyclable solid waste from landfill disposal through the Environmental Management System process of identifying objectives and targets and developing an Environmental Action Plan to achieve these goals. The study evaluated three specific areas – solid waste stream, commodity markets and economic feasibility – to complete an evaluation of recycling practices at Shaw AFB and where improvements could be made. The report estimated 526 tons of recyclable materials that could be diverted from the current waste stream that would increase the base-wide recycling rate from 38.3%, reported in 2013, to 62% of the waste stream.

Formerly Used Defense Sites

    ·         Support for active FUDS projects in South Carolina has been transferred from Charleston District to Savannah and Wilmington Districts. Charleston District continues to support public meetings for active FUDS projects and the USACE Headquarters Interim Risk Management initiative for inactive FUDS projects.
 

Regulatory

    ·         Issued 432 general permits with 93.06% issued in less than 60 days

    ·         Issued 58 individual permits with 43.1% in less than 120 days

    ·         Completed 1102 jurisdictional determinations

    ·         Performed 107 compliance inspections

    ·         Resolved 56 non compliance/enforcement cases.

    ·         Approved two new mitigation banks

Outreach

     ·         In June, participated in the 2014 Summer Technical Workshop, Partners for Minorities in Engineering and Computer Science, hosted in Columbia by the University of South Carolina. Approximately 30 high school juniors representing schools from throughout the state attended the workshop. Regulatory presented a one day session consisting of classroom and field exercises, which focused on the regulatory mission and how the Corps works with applicants to design and permit projects that protect and preserve our nation’s aquatic resources.

    ·         In September, spoke to approximately 30 college students studying wetlands ecology at the Georgetown Campus of Horry Georgetown Technical College. The presentation focused on the Clean Water Act, specifically wetland identification, permitting and enforcement and will become an annual event focused on field and classroom demonstrations.

    ·         In August, gave a presentation at the first annual meeting of the South Carolina Beach Communities held at the Marriott in downtown Charleston. The meeting was intended to form a SC Coastal Managers Association. Presented the USACE Regulatory perspective on permitting beach projects. Attendees included the mayors of many coastal SC communities, consultants and resource agency representatives. The two day meeting resulted in the formation of a new organization, the South Carolina Beach Advocates. The mission of this new organization will be to educate, advocate, and promote activities related to the restoration and preservation of South Carolina’s beaches and inlets.

    ·         Attended the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Federal Highways Association workshop on establishing mitigation banks in South Carolina. One of the primary goals of this meeting was for FHWA and SCDOT to provide consultants and bank sponsors information about their projected long-term needs for compensatory mitigation in specific watersheds throughout the state of South Carolina. Corps staff presented information about existing mitigation banks and the mitigation bank review process. In addition, the Corps and the other members of the Interagency Review Team discussed different approaches that have been used to satisfy SCDOT's compensatory mitigation needs over the past 2-3 years and lessons learned about the pros and cons of these different approaches.

    ·         During the spring and fall, Dr. Richard Darden presented two one-day outreach events on wetland recognition and the fundamentals of delineation for coastal county and state government regulatory personnel, including county storm water managers.  Sponsored by the National Estuarine Research Reserve program, these events promote better understanding of the importance of wetlands and their recognition with the overall goal of reducing unauthorized activities in wetlands.

    ·         During the spring and fall, Dr. Richard Darden presented two webinar events regarding the regulatory program to participants from across the nation. This marks the sixth year Charleston District has provided this detailed overview of the Corps of Engineers jurisdiction determination and permit review process to environmental professionals, engineers, developers and government officials who may be either new to the industry or in need of refresher information about the program.

    ·         As a member of the National Plant Panel representing the Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region, Dr. Richard Darden assisted with updates and revisions to the 2014 edition of the National Wetland Plant List. The National Wetland Plant List is used by wetland delineators and agencies to determine the wetland indicator status of virtually every plant species in the nation, and thus determining whether a potential wetland meets the vegetation parameter as part of the federal three parameter approach to wetland definition.

Training

     ·         Charleston District hosted Dr. Jacob Berkowitz for his hydric soils course. Members of Charleston District Regulatory/Planning as well as Wilmington District Regulatory attended the three day course. Dr. Berkowitz is a research soil scientist for USACE Engineering, Research and Design Center.

    ·         Charleston District hosted Dr. Bob Lichvar for his National Wetland Plant List training.  Members of Charleston District Regulatory/Planning as well as Wilmington and Savannah Districts Regulatory staff attended the two day course. Dr. Lichvar is a research botanist for ERDC at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in New Hampshire and is the Director of The National Wetland Plant List.

    ·         Charleston District hosted Rich Fischer and Dave Derrick for their workshop on Restoration of Streams & Riparian Areas for Water Quality and Ecological Functions. Approximately 75 attendees participated in the 3-day training including members of the Charleston District Regulatory/Planning as well as Wilmington, Mobile, and Jacksonville Districts Regulatory staff. Dr. Rich Fischer is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the ERDC Environmental Laboratory and Dave Derrick, formerly with ERDC, is a Potomologist & Vice President of River Research and Design, Inc.

    ·         Charleston District staff, in partnership with Headquarters and ERDC, completed initial design of an advanced wetland delineation class that will be open to Corps employees nationwide and planned to be held in Charleston annually. Selection, set up, and design of field sites/activities as well as the course booklet (presentations and exercises) were completed and submitted to headquarters for review. The first session is tentatively planned for Spring 2015. 

Palmetto Railways Intermodal Container Transfer Facility

    ·         Palmetto Railways submitted a proposal to develop a state-of-the-art Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the former Charleston Navy Base. The Corps held a Scoping Meeting for the proposed project in November 2013.  Since that time we have presented information about the proposed project at public workshops, stakeholder meetings, and several neighborhood meetings. The proposed project will provide equal access to both Class I railroads that serve the Port of Charleston and other businesses within the region: CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.

Haile Gold Mine

    ·         Regulatory staff completed processing of the federal permit application for this large-scale gold mine project proposed in Lancaster County. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was made publicly available during March, with a formal Public Hearing attended by more than 300 interested citizens from the local community and around the state held in April. The Final EIS was published in July, and a Record of Decision and permit with conditions were issued on October 27 (after the end of FY14). The permit decision followed a three-year environmental study and project review which included detailed data collection and mathematical modeling of predicted groundwater drawdown and associated effects of wetlands and streams in the project area as min pits are excavated and dewatered during mining. Compensatory mitigation for direct fill impacts to 120 acres of wetlands and 26,460 feet of streams was accomplished by reviewing and accepting the applicant proposal to acquire and donate three ecologically significant tracts of high-quality wetland/stream ecosystems to the South Carolina Heritage Trust Program for perpetual long term maintenance.  Cooperating agencies on the preparation of the Draft and Final EIS documents included U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Catawba Indian Nation, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Lee Nuclear Station

    ·         Regulatory staff continued the multi-year project development and permit application review process. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and made publicly available in September. The USFS EIS process is being followed to ensure that proposed compensatory mitigation for the Duke Energy nuclear-powered electrical generating station is consistent with the USFS Forest Plan. The proposed mitigation project involves restoration of more than 100,000 linear feet of deeply-incised streams in the Piedmont region to restore historic floodplains and improve overall stream ecosystems in the Woods Ferry portion of the Sumter National Forest. Draft and Final EIS were completed for the proposed nuclear station construction during 2013, in cooperation with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Boeing South Carolina

    ·         In July, issued an individual permit authorizing the expansion of the existing aerospace manufacturing and assembly facility adjacent to Charleston International Airport for Boeing. This project is expected to triple the capacity of the existing facility and will create almost 15,000 new jobs over the next 30 years. Although the proposed project will result in the loss of more than 150 acres of waters of the U.S. (including former on-site mitigation areas), the proposed mitigation plan includes the preservation of more than 3,900 acres of undeveloped property and the preservation and enhancement of more than 2,000 acres of wetlands and upland buffers. This compensatory mitigation plan received numerous letters of support from conservation organizations and resource agencies.

RiverPort

    ·         Began the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project that consists of a mixed use development (residential, commercial and industrial) covering approximately 5,000 acres in Jasper County and will include either the addition or enhancement of an interchange on I-95. Due to the magnitude of impacts, the FHWA and the USFWS verbally committed as cooperating agencies.

    ·         In August, held a public scoping meeting to receive comments to incorporate into the creation of the draft Environmental Impact Statement. The meeting had a generally positive tone and there were no major issues or friction points.
 
Carter Stilley Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank

    ·         In July, approved a new mitigation bank in the Myrtle Beach area. Although several stream mitigation banks have been approved in the sandhills and the piedmont portion of South Carolina, this is the first stream mitigation bank in the coastal plain of South Carolina and is expected to provide a much needed source of stream mitigation credits within this rapidly developing watershed.    

SCDNR- Ron McManus Artificial Reef (Horry County)

    ·         In September, a permit was issued to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for a new artificial reef located approximately five nautical miles southwest of the Little River Inlet. The project consisted of the placement of more than 100 concrete structures on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean around an existing shipwreck, resulting in a 206 acre recreational fishing reef. The reef is designated as the Ron McManus Artificial Reef and is crucial to the recreational and commercial fishing industry along the coast of South Carolina. 

US Coast Guard Dredging-Sector Georgetown Pier (Georgetown County)

    ·         In February, a permit was issued to the United States Coast Guard to conduct maintenance dredging around the existing pier located at the US Coast Guard station in the City of Georgetown. The project consisted of dredging more than 11,000 cubic yards of material from the existing basin and travel area to ensure sufficient depths for safe navigation. 

Successful Enforcement Case

    ·         Regulatory worked with two landowners in the Cottageville, SC area to restore 40 acres of bottomland swamp, including 3.5 acres of dikes, back to original elevations. The swamp system was impounded without authorization by a previous owner resulting in higher water elevations impacting landowners upstream of the impoundment site.

GSP Logistics Park

    ·         Facilitated ongoing review of a logistics park adjacent to the first inland port in South Carolina. The existing inland port did not require a permit; however, the development of the logistics park adjacent to the inland port would capitalize on commercial opportunities provided by the, and facilitate efficient use of, the inland port. The logistics park as proposed would provide 2.4 million square feet of warehouse, manufacturing, and distribution building area.

Saxe Gotha Industrial Park

    ·         Saxe Gotha Industrial Park is a 648 acre tract located in Lexington County near the intersection of Interstate 77 and Interstate 26. Currently, there is an Amazon Distribution Center and Nephron Pharmaceuticals facility located at the site. There have been several permit actions within this facility to build a road, improve the road, and utility line construction. The Corps is currently facilitating review for an application for additional site work within the industrial park.

Congaree River Project

    ·         Regulatory Division is facilitating the review for a large environmental cleanup project located in the City of Columbia with the Congaree River. Regulatory is working with SCE&G, DHEC, and ERDC related technical review and evaluation for the 3,600 foot long temporary cofferdam in the Congaree River to dewater three different sections of the river in order to remove the tar-like material. The project encompasses 1,600 linear feet of shoreline and extends approximately 300 feet into the river.  The total project area will include approximately 10 acres of river bottom. Once the river bottom is dewatered, the applicant proposes to remove 27,000 cubic yards sediment contaminated from the preexisting manufactured gas plant operation.


Emergency Management

    ·         Eight District personnel served in Afghanistan in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.

    ·         Co-hosted a Marine Transportation System Recovery tabletop exercise with the US Coast Guard in July and identified several areas to improve our collective response to emergencies related to re-opening the port of Charleston after a hurricane. Many agencies were represented, such as FEMA Region IV, local government emergency management representatives, NOAA, Charleston Harbor Pilots, South Carolina State Ports Authority, and industry partners. Discovered several areas for improvement in preparation and procedures that will quickly be addressed.  Agencies left feeling better prepared for an emergency recovery effort involving the port if it is impacted during an event.

    ·         Participated in the South Carolina Hurricane Full Scale Exercise in June. It was a good opportunity to reinforce our relationship with the SC Emergency Management Division and to exercise our hurricane operations for the coastal counties.

    ·         In September, the Charleston District sponsored B Company, 249th Prime Power Battalion (Fort Bragg) to conduct power assessments of key infrastructure.  In total, nine Soldiers from the 249th assessed 182 critical public facilities in 19 counties throughout South Carolina. During these inspections, they checked the electrical capabilities of the facility in order to know exactly what type of generator would be needed if the facility lost power. That way, the appropriate generator can be brought immediately instead of having to conduct an inspection in the middle of a disaster.

    ·         Charleston District conducted continuing-eligibility inspections on all 24 flood control projects currently participating in the Inspection of Completed Works program. Of the 24 projects inspected, 21 projects met or exceeded the minimum requirements to remain eligible for continuing participation in the ICW program, with one project inspection still under review. The ICW program provides periodic inspection of active federal flood risk management project’s to determine if the project is being maintained in accordance with USACE criteria.

    ·         Participated in the first ever state-wide South Carolina Department of Defense Installation Summit. Received an overview of Defense Support to Civil Authorities operations from the FEMA Region 4 Defense Coordinating Officer. Provided information to the DoD installations on resource availability and the process for resource requests from the Installation’s resident county and the state. Conducted a joint review of current Memorandums of Understandings for adequacy and shortfalls.

    ·         In February, responded to the winter ice storm impacting South Carolina by deploying an Emergency Operations Center liaison, debris subject matter expert, and District Emergency Manager to the SC Emergency Management Division EOC for regular operations to monitor the approaching storm. Charleston District coordinated the execution of eight power assessments in Aiken County, conducted by 249th Prime Power Battalion.

    ·         Participated in a Cyber Security Awareness Exercise “State of the World.” This exercise tested our procedures to react and recover from any incident that threatens our ability to conduct our mission, also measuring our effectiveness to react to written plans and video injects from headquarters.

    ·         In June, participated in a tabletop exercise for the Pinopolis Dam (Santee Cooper Hydroelectric Project). Procedure for closure and reopening of the Port of Charleston due to impacts of a dam failure was discussed.

    ·         Co-hosted and participated in a regional exercise and training session to prepare and certify a team of logistics employees that deploy to impacted disaster areas during emergency response events for USACE.

Other Building Strong Actions

·         Personnel:

    o   Charleston District hired 37 new people

    o   Four employees retired

    o   18 left for other career opportunities

    o   Hired four new students for the Pathways Program

    o   Hosted two Army cadets for internships

    o   Welcomed our new Deputy District Commander, Maj. Nathan Molica, and our new Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management, Lisa Metheney.

    o   In January, we held a retirement ceremony for Bill Stein, the deputy district engineer for programs and project management. The ceremony was a great event to thank Bill and his family for their 39 years of service to the Corps. Along with Bill's awards, he also received a decree by the Mayor of Charleston designating January 6th as "Bill Stein Day."

    o   Charleston District continues to support the Workforce Recruitment Program for students with disabilities by providing a summer internship to a qualified student.

·         Contracting:

    o   Completed 704 contracting actions, equaling $217 million in contract awards.

    o   Exceeded our small business goals for the third year in a row.

·         Media:

    o   Charleston District public website had 87,055 visits and 996,160 page views, meaning people clicked through more than 11 pages on the site each time they visited (http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/). The most popular page on our website was the Folly Beach Renourishment project page.

    o   The Charleston District Facebook page currently has 638 “likes,” up from 392 last year (https://www.facebook.com/CharlestonCorps).

    o   Twitter followers grew to more than 1,995, up from 1,630 last year (http://twitter.com/CharlestonCorps).

    o   Conducted 69 media engagements, including the Christmas Eve cover story about a deployee return home, and numerous speaking engagements.

    o   Created a public service announcement promoting the "Wear It!" campaign in honor of National Safe Boating Week. The PSA ran on several statewide radio stations. The campaign started May 17th and ran through Memorial Day.

    o   Created a public service announcement promoting fireworks safety, which ran during the week leading up to the Fourth of July.

    o   In September, the District held the Inaugural Sweetgrass Pulling Day at the Cooper River Rediversion Project, an event that was covered by multiple local media outlets. Six of the basket makers/family members from the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival Association traveled to St. Stephen and harvested a substantial amount of naturally-occurring grass that flourishes on the property. We had three local stations and an Associated Press (AP) reporter cover the story both on TV and in the press.

·         Community Service:

    o   Participated in the “Feds Feed Families” food drive, collecting 175 pounds of food for the Lowcountry Food Bank.

    o   The Charleston District completed another Combined Federal Campaign contributing $27,308.22 to local, national, and international charities.

    o   Held four blood drives at the Charleston District headquarters building collecting 72 pints of blood that could save up to 216 lives.

    o   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.

    o   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. Also, aided an employee and his family when their house caught fire.

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

    o   Several district employees participated in the Veterans Affairs Standdown Against Homelessness event and provided aid to homeless people in Charleston.

    o   District leadership participated in the Day of Caring helping out by making areas of Charleston more beautiful.

·         Awards:

    o   The USACE Resource Management Community of Practice selected Timothy Lanford, Charleston District’s Accounting Officer, as the Resource Management Professional of the Year.

     o   Nat Ball, regulatory project manager, was selected for the 2014 Don Lawyer Award as the USACE Regulator of the Year. 

    o   The Charleston Chapter of the Federal Executives Association held its annual Employee of the Year ceremony in May to recognize exceptional federal employees in the Charleston area.  Our Chief of Engineering, Carole Works, was named Charleston's Supervisor of the Year. Senior Contracting Specialist William Wallace was named Charleston's Professional of the Year.

    o   Robert "Trae" Redmond was honored in April as a member of the Charleston Regional Business Journal's Class of 2014 "Forty Under 40." This program recognizes exceptional young professionals throughout the region from a wide variety of industries.  Redmond was selected for his contributions to the community through his work in USACE and the SC Army National Guard, as well as his numerous volunteer efforts.

    o   Brandan Scully, navigation branch chief, was co-inventor named in a provisional patent application. He collaborated with Coraggio Maglio, of the USACE Engineering, Research and Design Center, and Nate Lovelace, of the Mobile District, to invent a mechanism for improved control of discharge from hydraulic spillway risers. The design was created to address instances where existing methods of controlling fluid over a large height range results in fall hazards for personnel operating traditional structures. The new mechanism is designed to operate without putting personnel at risk, and is capable of operating over an expanded range of fluid heights. The modular design will enable retrofit of existing systems across USACE and incorporates advanced composite materials with longer expected life than traditional materials at costs competitive with current systems.

    o   The USACE Logistics Activity awarded Adam Collias, Charleston District facility manager, the Employee of the Quarter for the ULA.

    o   The Charleston District’s Corporation Communications Office earned honorable mention recognition in the "Outstanding Initiative in New Media" and "Community Relations Special Event" categories of the Herbert Kassner Public Affairs Competition. 

    o   David Dodds, construction chief, and Narissia Skinner, executive secretary and family readiness coordinator, were recognized by the South Carolina Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in March. Dodds received the Patriot Award for his support as a supervisor and Skinner received the Seven Seals Award for her support as the District's Family Readiness Coordinator.  
 
·         Training:

    o   Seven Charleston District employees graduated from the Leadership Development Program Level 2 in August. 

    o   Ms. Kwana Anthony, South Atlantic Division Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, conducted nine 2-hour Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Protection training sessions throughout the Charleston District to assist the District with meeting its annual SHARP training requirement. 

    o   Josh Mueller, contracting specialist, was selected by the Department of the Army to participate in the two-year Auburn University Certificate Program in Construction Management.

    o   Charleston District Public Affairs Specialist, Sean McBride, was one of six candidates selected from across USACE to participate in the year long USACE Public Affairs Rising Star Program.  This is a 12-month, three-phase, functional development program that focuses on providing a national perspective on communication challenges and is also intended to develop the individual through literature reviews and distance learning courses, the completion of a short-term team project with other participants, and participation in a headquarters-sponsored initiative.

    o   Glenn Jeffries, chief of corporate communications, was selected as a member of the South Carolina Riley Diversity Leadership Initiative.

·         Certifications:

    o   Melisa Childs, contracting specialist, completed the two-week Defense Acquisition University Contracting 360 Course.

    o   Jeremy Johnson, civil engineer, earned his Professional Engineer License.

    o   Caleb Brewer, GIS analyst, earned his Geographical Information Sciences Professional certification.

    o   In June, Narissia Skinner, Charleston District executive secretary, was installed as the President of the Charleston Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

    o   Glenn Jeffries, chief of corporate communications, served as the Federal Executives Association co-chairman.

·         Meetings:

    o   Our Programs and Project Management Division hosted James Dalton and Stacey Brown from USACE Headquarters and Wilbert Paynes from South Atlantic Division on a tour of Charleston Harbor and Folly Beach.

    o   In April, conducted Congressional visits in Washington, D.C. The focus of the visits was the Fiscal Year 14 work plan and the FY15 President's Budget for the state of S.C. The visits went very well and we reinforced our good relationships with our members and their staffs.

    o   Met with Gov. Nikki Haley on multiple occasions to discuss Post 45 and several regulatory permit applications that are important to South Carolina. The meetings went extremely well and Gov. Haley was pleased with the progress being made by the Corps and asked that we contact her if she can be of assistance.

STEM

    ·         Over the course of several months, three schools, James Island Christian School, Charleston Charter School for Math and Science and Porter Gaud, visited the Folly Beach Renourishment project. The students learned about the project, how the project affects turtles and what the Corps will do to protect them, and an overview of GIS and how it’s used in beach renourishment. After the presentations, the students visited the project. The Corps received media coverage during engineer week about the students visit: www.live5news.com/story/24769931/30m-project-use-to-renourish-folly-beach-and-educate-high-schoolers

    ·         In February, the District hosted more than 20 College of Charleston students, taking a class in Water Use Law, for a visit to the Folly Beach project.  Charleston District staff provided the students with an overview of the project and a summary of how we assess and mitigate for any negative impacts on the environment.   

    ·         Sara Corbett and Matt Tomsic, external affairs for the South Carolina State Ports Authority, visited several middle schools to talk about Post 45 Harbor Deepening Project.

    ·         Charleston District hosted 40 students from Timberland High School at the St. Stephen Powerhouse in April. The students toured the recently renovated fish lift and viewing room as well as SCDNR's Jack D. Bayless Fish Hatchery. Talking to the students about exciting STEM careers was a great opportunity for the District. All of the students were engaged, interested, and asked great questions. It was a very positive and successful event.

    ·         Participated in a career fair at Baptist Hill High School in April. District employees Jeremy Johnson, civil engineer, and William Wallace, contracting specialist, spoke to students about civil engineering and contracting in the Corps.

    ·         In March, Lt. Col. John Litz and Lisa Metheney attended a SAME Citadel Student Chapter meeting and provided the student chapter with an overview of STEM career opportunities in USACE and then participated in a round table mentoring session.

    ·         In March, conducted a STEM engagement with Timberland High School.  30 construction class students received presentations on Reading Prints and Specifications, Jobsite Safety, Construction Quality, and How to Dress and Act like a Professional.  Nancy Jenkins, Chief of Design and General Engineer Branch, John Lindsay, District Safety Manager, David Dodds, Chief of Construction, and Narissia Skinner, Executive Secretary, supported this event.

    ·         District Deputy Commander, Maj. John O'Brien, attended the Commissioning Ceremony in May for The Citadel’s graduation class of 2014 to welcome 87 young leaders into the Profession of Arms as Second Lieutenants in the US Army and the South Carolina Army National Guard.

    ·         In November, Maj. John O'Brien and Max Carroll, military project manager, participated in the Citadel Engineering Department's job fair and talked to cadets and other job seekers about Department of the Army civilian career opportunities in the Corps as well as opportunities for engineer officers in the Army and Navy.

    ·         District employees volunteered for the Citadel’s annual bridge building contest and career fair in hopes of sparking an interest in an engineering path in a student.  

    ·         Participated in a "speed mentoring" session for the Citadel SAME Student Chapter meeting in September. The meeting allowed several members of the District to talk about what they do, share advice, and answer questions. Currently, Lt. Col. Litz is the president of the board for the SAME Charleston Post, and the Citadel Student chapter does a lot in conjunction with the post. Additionally, we hope that the efforts in working with SAME will facilitate additional opportunities to promote STEM. 

    ·         Supported Partnership Agreement with South Carolina State University (HBC) by providing workshops on pursuing STEM career opportunities with the Corps and the federal government hiring process.