Each year, the Charleston District compiles a list of our annual accomplishments and brings them to you in a new and interesting format. This year's infographic highlights some of the major accomplishments from this year in the fields of contracting, civil works, regulatory, community outreach and more. The full list of district accomplishments follows.
Charleston District FY15 Year in Review
o US Coast Guard Tradd Street Pier, October 2014, 11,000 cubic yards, $1.5 million
o Charleston Upper Harbor, April 2015, 2.3 million cubic yards, $4.7 million
o Charleston Lower Harbor, August 2015, 2 million cubic yards, $6 million
o Awarded contracts for Charleston Entrance Channel and Breach Inlet/Jeremy Creek
o Performed maintenance ditching on the Clouter Creek Middle Cell
Charleston Harbor Post 45 Harbor Deepening Study
• Completed the Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement. The Final FR/EIS proposes to deepen the major shipping channels within the harbor from 45 to 52 feet at an estimated cost of $509 million.
• Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE Chief of Engineers, signed the Report of the Chief of Engineers in September. The Final FR/EIS was then accepted for review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
• The Post 45 team met with state and federal resource agencies to discuss detailed evaluation of potential beneficial use of dredged material during the Preconstruction Engineering and Design Phase.
• The Charleston District is replacing the aging survey vessel S/V Wilson. The new S/V Heiselman is a 26 foot catamaran design that is being built to tackle conditions in the coastal waters of South Carolina and will carry a full complement of hydrographic equipment. Delivery is expected in early 2016.
• The Charleston District Survey Team reached out to other SAD Districts and provided topographic LIDAR support for harbor infrastructure and emergency beach surveys for post-storm recovery operations.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
• Completed condition surveys from Little River to Bucksport, Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor, and Charleston Harbor to Port Royal reaches, as well as all inlets, creeks, and rivers in the Charleston District’s purview.
• Awarded contract for maintenance dredging of the Breach Inlet area of the waterway and Jeremy Creek. Coordinated environmental requirements resulting in a categorical exclusion determination for the maintenance dredging.
• In August, awarded a contract for dike raising in the Sampit River Placement Area, to Corey Enterprises.
• In September, awarded a contract for sediment sampling and analysis (for ocean disposal) for portions of the channel segment in Winyah Bay, to Anamar Environmental Consulting, Inc.
• Completed condition surveys of Georgetown Harbor, Upper, Middle, and Lower Winyah Bay, and the Georgetown Entrance Channel.
• Formulated multiple plans with options for different dredge depths and timelines for recovering Georgetown Harbor.
• Released the draft Environmental Assessment for public review and the draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment for Agency Technical Review.
Cooper River Rediversion Project
• The St. Stephen hydro generators produced 150,742 MWh. Plant availability was 94.08 percent with a Forced Outage Rate of 1.58 percent. Both availability and FOR are better than the SAD averages of 85.35 percent and 4.22 percent. The Corps-wide national average availability was 83.73 percent with an FOR of 5.56 percent.
• Replaced critical cooling water system piping, pumps, and motors. The first phase of piping fabrication, removal and replacement was completed by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) craftsmen and the inter-agency agreement process. The cooling water pumps and motors were replaced by Sierras Construction, a local small business.
• In February, Sierras Construction completed fish lift brail basket repairs. These repairs significantly reduced emergency maintenance on the fish lift during the 2015 season and contributed to the best year of operation in many years.
• During the 2015 migration season between February and May, the fish lift passed approximately 330,000 fish.
• In March, hosted 20 Wounded Warriors at the St. Stephen Fishlift for our inaugural 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 July, hosted the Second Annual Sweetgrass Pulling Day at the Cooper River Rediversion Project. More than 30 sweetgrass basket makers and their families participated in the event, which was in honor of the nine fallen victims of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting.
• In September, hosted our Inaugural Wounded Warrior Dove Hunt at the Cooper River Rediversion Project. The event was planned and executed in partnership with SCDNR and the Wounded Warrior Project from Charlotte, NC. There was no shortage of birds flying and shots taken. The District took some great lessons learned and will widen the net next year as we promote the event.
• The SCDNR Cooper River Rediversion Project Visitor Center team in the Charleston District was selected as the recipient of the inaugural 2014 National Volunteer Group Award. The team dedicated more than 700 hours to the concept, design, printing, and installation of new interpretive displays and the live ‘Shad Cam’ at the visitor center. The facility will be utilized by the Charleston District's STEM program participants, local school groups, and private citizens alike to broaden the understanding of the Corps mission and its preservation and enhancement of aquatic natural resources.
• In March, hosted a group of marine biologists from Thailand for a tour of the fishlift. The contingent wanted to see a functioning design like ours and ask questions about its operation. The group was planning a massive dam project on the Mekong River and wanted to include a fish passage structure of a similar design.
• Awarded a contract to remove two previously closed underground storage tanks.
Lake Marion Regional Water Project
• Completed construction of the water line from Holly Hill to Harleyville.
• Began design reviews and environmental coordination for the water line from Harleyville to Ridgeville.
• Completed a study and finalized a report that evaluated 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 final report identified a solution that included a combination of measures that could be applied over time to reduce flooding impacts in the watershed.
• In March, completed a $500,000 fencing and grassing project as the final phase of the Folly Beach Renourishment Project. 800 “v-shaped” structures were installed to trap windblown sand and create dunes. Additionally, 100,000 sea oats and bitter panicum plants were planted behind the fences to help stabilize the dune growth.
• Began sand search offshore of Folly Beach to identify sand sources for future periodic nourishment efforts. Much of this work is being performed by Athena Technologies under contract to the Wilmington District.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Spatial Data
• The Spatial Data Branch became a valuable team member during the feasibility phase of the Post 45 project, working across multiple departments. The branch successfully produced more than 100 maps, performed analyses for Planning and Engineering, and played an active role in the public meetings.
• The Spatial Data Branch successfully obtained a SAD regional budget manager role for the $100K Geospatial Land Migration Project. The branch is overseeing SAD districts to support the preliminary stages of development of an enterprise system for Civil Works’ real property and project boundary maps.
• The Spatial Data Branch successfully developed a business process to integrate the Army’s Facility Equipment Maintenance System (FEM) into GIS for Operations Division assets. The connection between the databases allows FEM a visual approach illustrating condition and future work orders for customers. The branch is supporting the creation and maintenance of FEM hierarchies for St. Stephen and the Survey Section, and provided FEM support at St. Stephen due to a personnel shortage.
• The Spatial Data Branch is working with the 81st Regional Support Command to implement FEM in order to track multiple assets. This will dramatically improve the tracking process and ensure correct maintenance is being performed.
• The Spatial Data Branch is continuing to execute a $4.2 million Geospatial Services contract and is providing support to multiple projects including Post 45, Folly and Myrtle Beach, the 81st Regional Support Command, and Emergency Management GIS mapping.
• The Charleston District received an overall fiscal year 2014 score of 4.63 with an 81.8 percent response rate on the Military Customer Satisfaction Survey. To put this score into perspective, in FY10, FY11, FY12 and FY13, the District received a 4.34, 4.42, 4.56 and 4.62 respectively.
• FY15 execution consisted of 22 Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) projects for a total of $19.6 million. The Charleston District has 69 projects at $204 million currently under construction.
• Began a Facility Investment Services contract to conduct preventive maintenance and perform service calls in any of 68 specified buildings. The $7 million contract involves working on buildings that mostly were built or renovated by the Charleston District in the last 10-15 years. Work includes repairs to door handles, pumps, showers, toilets or ceiling tiles. To date, we have completed 10,000 service calls under this contract.
• In September, conducted a Line Item Review with the Fort Jackson Commander, Maj. Gen. Cloutier, and Garrison Commander, Col. Ellerson. We provided an update regarding on-going construction to the Hagen Dental Clinic, BCT 1 track, Officer Club Roof Project, and Bldg 2300. We continue to be very optimistic for our future supporting them.
• Advanced Individual Training Barracks (PH1 & PH2): Completed all HVAC work, track repairs and furniture installation.
81st Regional Support Command
• Executed 111 contracting actions for $26.8 million.
• Conducted a quarterly line item review with the 81st RSC DPW, Col. McDonald, and his staff. The District performs a full suite of services to include construction, preventive maintenance, service call oversight, municipal services and IDIQ contracts. Overall the 81st RSC is extremely happy with the value the District provides.
Joint Base Charleston
• Executed 25 contracting actions for $3.5 million, several under the Job Order Contract with Joint Base.
Support to Honolulu District
• In July, five employees from Charleston supported the Honolulu District with their tasking to inventory all utility meters on the various Army installations on Oahu. The employees provided resources and expertise in a collaborative effort with other Districts to support the project. Honolulu District leadership gave certificates of appreciation to our employees highlighting, "the Charleston Team met all timelines of the Army Central Meter Program and established the template for other geographical districts to emulate."
Interagency and International Support
Marine Forces Reserves
• Executed 100 contract actions totaling $21.3M to support the MARFORRES SRM, Facility Investment and Environmental Programs, coordinating active construction work through multiple USACE geographic Districts.
• In December 2014, participated in the Charleston VA Mental Health Research Building Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The Honorable Carolyn Clancy, MD, the Interim Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, attended the ceremony, along with several other VA leaders. The District was proud to be a part of the facility that will benefit veterans and then with innovations in medical treatment. We continue to maintain a great partnership with the VA and the ceremony was another opportunity to foster this relationship.
• Initiated support to advertise and award an SDVOSB set-aside contract to replace the boiler plant and add cogeneration capability at the Carl A. Vinson VA Medical Center, located in Dublin, GA. After award, construction management support will be provided through Savannah District, Robins AFB Resident Office.
Department of State
• Initiated support to advertise and award a contract for renovation of multiple areas of the existing Bldg. D Passport Center, located at the DOS Charleston Resource Center at the Charleston Federal Complex.
Defense Logistic Agency- Distribution
• Executed 76 contract actions totaling $40.9M to support the DLA Installation Support for Distribution SRM and Fire Protection Programs, coordinating active construction work through multiple USACE geographic Districts. Awarded contract actions also include support to DLA Installation Support (Headquarters) for professional services support for their Audit Assertion initiative. Initiated coordination with DLA Installation Support for Distribution to support development of design documents and a construction contract to implement improvements at their Fort Jackson Disposition site.
Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration
• Continue to support the DOE-EM Federal Project Director and Integrated Project Delivery Team at SRS for the Saltstone Disposal Unit Tank No. 6 construction project, providing QA oversight and technical services support. Continue to support the NNSA Federal Project Director and Integrated Project Delivery Team at SRS for the MOX project, providing project controls and technical services support.
• Issued 419 general permits with 90% issued in less than 60 days
• Issued 64 individual permits with 50% in less than 120 days
• Completed 1,117 jurisdictional determinations
• Performed 132 compliance inspections
• Resolved 43 non-compliance/enforcement cases.
• Tina Hadden, the District’s regulatory chief since October 2003, retired after working for the Charleston District for 33 years. A replacement will be hired in the coming months.
• In October 2014, adopted a 2nd grade classroom at Lakewood Elementary School as part of the 2014-2015 “Adopt-A-Classroom” program which focuses on exposing students to a wide range of career opportunities in STEM. A classroom visit consisted of an introduction to the Corps’ various missions, career opportunities that exist within the Corps and the importance of fostering a love for science at an early age. The children were also read a story about the beauty of wetlands and the role that they play in our environment.
• In November 2014, participated in Career Day at Black Water Middle School in Conway, SC. Corps of Engineers personnel were introduced to 10 different groups of students who were provided a brief explanation of the different facets of being a Biologist in Regulatory and the education requirements for their jobs. A table top exhibit depicting how wetlands protect our water supply was set up and posters portraying different types of wetlands and a selection of field equipment that is typically used were explained. A field demonstration on how to conduct a wetland delineation was also provided to the students.
• In December 2014, presented at the SC Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 annual convention. The presentation primarily focused on activities not requiring Department of the Army authorization pursuant to exemptions under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (ponds, roads and other activities associated with normal farming practices) to address the needs of the farming community. The convention was beneficial, and the Charleston District has already been asked to participate in next year's convention.
• In January, a second visit to Lakewood Elementary School for the “Adopt-A-Classroom” program was made which focused on discussing the scientific method, the difference between controls and variables and setting up a simple science experiment to demonstrate the process of transpiration.
• In February, presented information to a class of wetland scientists at the Conway Campus of Horry Georgetown Technical College. The focus was on wetland delineation, establishing jurisdiction as well as the overall authorities of the Corps’ Regulatory Program.
• In February, the Charleston District Regulatory Division participated as an exhibitor in the 33rd annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE). The exhibit was located in the Conservation tent at Marion Square in downtown Charleston. Approximately 50,000 people attend SEWE annually. SEWE is one of the largest events that the Regulatory Division participates in each year and it is estimated that several thousand people visited the Conservation tent throughout the weekend. Regulatory focuses the display on a different topic each year to reflect an area of current interest. The topic for this year’s exhibit was Who We Are and What We Do and focused on the functions of wetlands.
• In February, provided presentation to the American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina (ACEC-SC) and South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers (SCSPE) Winter Meeting in Columbia, SC. The presentation was an overview of permitting and highlighted the points of interest regarding jurisdictional determinations and pre-application meetings to assist in project planning and developing an alternatives analysis.
• In March, presented at the 30th Annual Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic. The Classic is an annual event organized by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to celebrate outdoor activities in the State of South Carolina. More than 50,000 people attend the Classic. Various Corps’ various missions were discussed, with particular focus on the importance of and the function and values of wetlands and other waters of the United States and RD’s authorities under the CWA and the R&HA.
• In April, at the request of Clemson University, met with Calvin B. Sawyer, Associate Director, Center for Watershed Excellence, Jeremy W. Pike, Forestry and Natural Resources, and other faculty and staff form Clemson University. Topics discussed included the ongoing stream and wetland restoration activities on Hunnicutt Creek located on the Clemson’s campus, the Corps’ continued assistance in providing aquatic resource expertise and information in an educational classroom and field setting, and Clemson’s continued assistance as a land-grant college in providing agriculture expertise and information as it relates to Section 404(f) Exemptions.
• In August, provided presentation at Horry-Georgetown Technical College on an overview of the Regulatory Division’s mission, responsibilities and programs. The presentation also introduced the students to the recently implemented Clean Waters Rule and the benefits of the rule regarding clear, defendable determinations based on science. This is the second year that RD has been asked to give the presentation.
• During 2014-15, the Regulatory Division prepared for implementation of the new Clean Water Rule in a number of ways. Regulators reviewed and commented to USACE Headquarters on three versions of the proposed rule, submitted sketches which were adapted for use and distribution to all districts to aid in training, and held a training event in Charleston for all regulators in preparation for the implementation of the new rule.
• In November 2014, conducted a Regulatory 101 class to educate district staff on the Regulatory program. The class covered the regulatory mission, what we do and how, and when other Corps staff should contact us for help on their projects to avoid potential conflicts. The class also included a half-day field exercise.
• In April, the Charleston District, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Environmental Laboratory conducted a two-day training seminar on Dredged Material Management and Dredging Practices. The seminar included a variety of technical presentations by ERDC engineers and scientists on Dredging Practices, Dredged Material Evaluation and Testing, Endangered Species Issues, Engineering with Nature and Beneficial Reuse, Dredged Material Placement, etc. The seminar was attended by both Regulatory and Civil Works employees from numerous SAD districts.
• In May, the Regulatory Division hosted an inter-agency meeting with other state and federal agencies to discuss program changes, current issues, and program initiatives. The agencies also participated in a cookout to enhance and foster working relationships. Numerous agencies participated, including NMFS, USEPA, USFWS, SC-DNR, SC-DHEC-BOW and SC-DHEC-OCRM.
• In June, issued the permit for construction of the first Volvo automobile plant in the United States, to be built in Ridgeville, Berkeley County. The project includes two phases: Phase I includes construction of 23 million square feet of building space and Phase II includes 14 million square feet of building space. Impacts to wetlands and other waters of the U.S. total 217 acres, including 194 acres of fill material. The permit included a permittee-responsible Compensatory Mitigation Plan combining ecosystem preservation with restoration and enhancement activities in six high-quality tracts that are tributary systems to the Four Hole Swamp ecosystem to achieve a landscape-scale mitigation project that will offset the impacts.
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. A public scoping meeting was held on November 14, 2013 to solicit input from adjacent property owners and interested parties about the proposed project. Since that time, Palmetto Railways has significantly adjusted their proposed plans, so the Charleston District felt another scoping meeting is necessary.
• In July, completed the Environmental Assessment for the proposed project to pave and widen International Drive in Horry County. The District is ready to make a permitting decision upon the receipt of state permits; however, a timeframe for this is not set following an appeal on state permits.
Lee Nuclear Station
• In September, issued a permit for the William States Lee III Nuclear Station Units 1 & 2 to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC. This electrical generating facility was the subject of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) led by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with the Corps serving as a Cooperating Agency. Due to the magnitude of proposed impacts and need for a grand-scale compensatory mitigation, the applicant proposed major stream restoration efforts within a portion of the Sumter National Forest. On this basis, the Corps and USFS cooperated (USFS lead) on an EIS addressing use of the National Forest for this work. The Final EIS was made publicly available in December 2014. A Record of Decision document was signed during September 2015.
Boeing South Carolina
• In January, a permit modification was issued for the Boeing Company for the development of a full-service aerospace manufacturing and assembly complex that is capable of meeting the existing and the projected future demand for Boeing airplanes over the next 30 years. Expansion of existing facilities and construction of new facilities on the project site will enable Boeing to increase the rate of production on the project site. New activities would include paint facilities that are large enough to accommodate fully assembled airplanes, an on-site Fire Department facility, and launching an Engineering Design Center at the North Charleston campus.
• In August 2014, the NEPA process began with a public scoping meeting held in Hardeeville, SC. The Charleston District has been working with the applicants to complete the jurisdictional determination for the entire 5100+ acres that are privately held as well as the I-95 corridor and within the defined project area. Based on the effort related to updating the jurisdictional determination, the project design has been evolving. Changes to the road configurations and development plan alternatives are being explored and coordinated with the various project proponents and stakeholders (to include the State Infrastructure Bank).
Haile Gold Mine
• In October 2014, the Corps issued a permit for Haile Gold Mine to conduct mining activities for gold over a 12-year period. Mitigation for impacts to waters of the U.S. included the acquisition and conveyance to SCDNR Heritage Trust Program of three large, ecologically significant tracts totaling 4,559 acres and included Rainbow Ranch, Goodwill Plantation, and Cooks Mountain. The plan also endowed SCDNR with a total of $9.4 million to manage the properties, including the accomplishment of restoration projects to benefit the endangered Carolina heelsplitter mussel at Rainbow Ranch and restoration/enhancement projects at Cooks Mountain and Goodwill Plantation. The Final EIS detailed the final status of the Haile Mitigation Plan and SCDNR’s restoration projects as the combined compensatory mitigation approach to offset the mine project’s impacts to waters of the U.S.
Saxe Gotha Industrial Park
• Completed the permit for the extension of 12th Street into Phase 2 of Saxe Gotha Industrial Park. Phase 2 will expand Saxe Gotha Industrial Park by 234 acres, making the total acreage for the park 648 acres. Currently, there is an Amazon facility and a Nephron Pharmaceuticals facility located in the park. SCANA has a large facility located adjacent to the park. The park is located near Interstate 77, Interstate 26, and an existing rail system.
• Five District personnel served in Afghanistan in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.
• In September, South Carolina Electric and Gas conducted a dam safety table top exercise. The exercise focused on the Saluda and Buzzard Roost Emergency Action Plans for their respective facilities. The District had representation from EM and Engineering. The exercise focused on a category IV hurricane response and a dam failure event, which overwhelmed the local and state's capabilities to fully respond to both events. This exercise provided an opportunity for strategic engagement to discuss and coordinate activities for the event response/recovery actions.
• In September, participated in the Second Annual SC DOD Installation Seminar. This seminar provided an opportunity for interaction and relationship building between SC DoD installations and their resident counties. A major focus of the seminar was to provide information to the installations on emergency management resources available and the process for submitting requests to the counties and the State.
• In August, participated in a joint port exercise with the US Coast Guard, NOAA, SCEMD, DNR, and SCSPA. The exercise covered the closing and opening of the port of Charleston due to a Hurricane. The group discussed the effects of debris, containers, and shoaling in the federal channel. This year is the second year in a row that we conducted this event in partnership with the USCG Sector Charleston and NOAA. The discussions focused heavily on authorities and our coordination to reopen the harbor after an event.
• In August, hosted the South Atlantic Division EM and Security Communities of Practice (CoPs). As a part of the CoP meeting, they held an Active Shooter exercise at the Cooper River Rediversion Project. Several partners participated as well to discuss the action they would take if an event happened at the project.
• In March, participated in a hurricane Table Top Exercise for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. The focus of the exercise was discussion on the challenges that would be faced in response to a Category 5 hurricane. Facilitated by the USACE Readiness Support Center, USACE participants provided information on PL84-99 authority, as well as our capabilities in support of FEMA.
• In March, the District had select personnel participate in the SC National Guard and SC Emergency Management Division's full scale exercise, Operation Vigilant Guard 2015. This exercise was a large-scale emergency response and disaster preparedness training event with agencies from the local, state, and national level. The exercise focused on response in Georgetown County.
• 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.
• Visited SC eight coastal counties EM Directors to USACE readiness authorities and other assistance available in response to natural disasters or nation emergencies.
• In May, the District had select personnel participate in SC Governor’s Hurricane Seminar. This seminar provided an opportunity for the Governor, state senior leadership and interested stakeholders to discuss our roles, responsibilities, key decisions, and actions across the homeland security mission areas (prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, recover) in response to a major hurricane.
• In August, SAC deployed personnel in support of Typhoon Soudelor that struck Siapan.
Other Building Strong Actions
o Charleston District hired 46 new people
o 11 employees retired
o 49 left for other career opportunities
o Hired two new students for the Pathways Program
o Hosted one Army cadet for an internship
o Hired two employees through the Workforce Recruitment Program for Students with Disabilities
o Welcomed our new District Commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Luzzatto
o The Civilian Personnel Advisory Centers (CPACs) at Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA, and South Atlantic Division HQs have been consolidated into one singular CPAC. This new CPAC is called the Southeast Atlantic CPAC, or SEA-CPAC. This brought the strength of the CPAC up to 17 personnel. Additionally, the SEA-CPAC began participating in a pilot to test centralizing Army’s Injury Compensation Program at the Southwest Region Army Benefits Center – Civilian, Fort Riley, Kansas.
o Completed 680 contracting actions, equaling $162 million in contract awards.
o Exceeded our small business goals for the fourth year in a row. Goal was to issue 41 percent of contracts to small businesses, we issued 81 percent. 51 percent to small disadvantaged businesses, 29 percent to women-owned businesses, 18 percent to HubZone businesses, and five percent to small disadvantaged, veteran-owned businesses.
o Issued our 400th construction contract ever, with the FY15 81st Ft Rucker Fabric Structure taking the glorious honor. From 2002 to 2008, only 97 construction contracts were issued. So since 2008, and in the same number of years, we have awarded and executed three times as many, roughly 300 construction contracts and task orders.
o Implemented the utilization of USACE Acquisition Management Tool, which provides the ability to view projected contract actions against actual dollars/actions and small business goals.
o Obtained a deployed Army Captain in the Army Reserves for a period of one year to allow her to get her Level II training and obtain the one year experience necessary for 1102 Level II certification.
o Added an additional Contracting Officer with a $10 million warrant limit that will allow the contracting office to be more efficient in reviewing and awarding actions.
• Operating Budget
o The District ended the fiscal year “green” in all technical offices with respect to overhead rates.
o Charleston District public website had 98,479 visits and 2,080,254 page views, up from 87,055 visits and 996,160 page views, meaning people clicked through more than 21 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 Draft Report.
o The Charleston District Facebook page currently has 784 “likes,” up from 638 last year (https://www.facebook.com/CharlestonCorps).
o Twitter followers grew to 2,342, up from 1,995 last year (http://twitter.com/CharlestonCorps).
o Launched a District Instagram page to share photos on the world’s fastest growing social network. To date, the page has earned 131 followers (http://instagram.com/Charlestoncorps).
o Conducted dozens of media engagements, including the Second Annual Sweetgrass Pulling Day and the Inaugural Wounded Warrior Fishing Tournament, both at our Cooper River Rediversion Project.
o In February, conducted media training with more than 20 employees around the District. Our Corporate Communication Office led the training which was very well received. The target audience was our employees that interact with the media on a regular basis.
• Community Service:
o Participated in the “Feds Feed Families” food drive, collecting 262 pounds of food for the Lowcountry Food Bank.
o The Charleston District completed another Combined Federal Campaign contributing $33,809.96 to local, national, and international charities.
o Held three blood drives at the Charleston District headquarters building collecting 57 pints of blood that could save up to 171 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.
o Employee volunteers conducted a beach cleanup on the District’s Adopt-a-Beach section of Folly Beach.
o In October 2014, several district employees participated in the Veterans Affairs Standdown Against Homelessness event and provided aid to homeless people in Charleston.
o Began working closely with our South Carolina Aquarium partners to plan and open a display on the Cooper River Rediversion Project and the Fishlift. The new feature, scheduled to open in early winter 2015, will be a connecting link between the ocean and SC river system displays in the aquarium’s outstanding “Watersheds” section. The display will highlight the District’s missions and partnerships, and provide our natural resource messages to the next generation of conservation-minded citizens. The SC Aquarium hosts an average of 430,000 visitors per year.
o In August, we presented to the Mother Emanuel AME Church, in partnership with the Lowcountry Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival Association, a cross to church elders and a sister of one of the victims as a small token of our sympathy. One of the leaders of the association made the cross from the sweetgrass pulled on our Cooper River Rediversion Project property.
o In May, in conjunction with the Federal Executive Association, the District assisted with hosting the 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. Congressman Sanford gave some opening remarks to thank all the agencies for their dedication and service to the public, and several media outlets covered the event.
o In November 2014, Lt. Col. Litz and Maj. Molica participated in the Charleston Trident United Way Day of Caring. The event provides an opportunity for corporate volunteer teams to partner with agencies and schools to increase community engagement. Specifically, Litz and Molica conducted clean-up in a local park less than a mile from the District HQ.
o In November 2014, over the Veteran's Day weekend, the District supported a couple events in support of the holiday. Lt. Col. Litz visited the local VA hospital and spent time talking with veterans about their service to the nation. MAJ Molica spoke at Ashley Hall School (7th-12th Grade) about serving in the military. The District maintains a STEM partnership with this high school. Both engagements were extremely positive for the District.
o Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) recognized Brendan Kight, Construction Division, Lowcountry Resident Office Project Engineer, for contributions to the Energy Savings Performance Contract success with the Continuous Process Improvement/Lean Six Sigma Excellence of the Quarter Award. The SPAWAR-USACE team received the award for improvements to effectiveness and increased energy efficiency for infrastructure previously not seen in more than 15 years. The project estimates savings of $570,000 annually in energy and water efficiencies.
o In September, hosted the Regional Leadership Development Program. We focused this session on relationships. The class visited our Cooper River Rediversion Project and learned about our partnership with SCDNR and Santee Cooper Power with running the plant, the fish lift, and surrounding land. They also discussed leadership and challenges that partnerships sometimes face. We held a partnership panel with several of our partners, so that the class could hear their perspective on our relationships together.
o In April, held LDP Level 1 Graduation with eleven employees completing the course. All of the participants gave excellent lessons learned about the program and themselves. Additionally, as a part of their comments they gave challenges to the audience encouraging them in various ways to develop themselves, their teams, and their coworkers.
o In October 2014, Mrs. Dori Tempio (Information & Referral Training Coordinator) and Mr. Justin Williams (Rehabilitation Counseling Intern) gave an informed brief to Charleston District employees on various disability etiquette topics such as interacting with people with disabilities, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), person-first terminology, and perceptions of disabled people.
o Implemented USACE Time and Attendance Module, becoming the first USACE district to deploy everyone eligible in a single phase. This led us to having a highly-trained workforce from the start by encouraging more train-the-trainer opportunities and partnering between divisions and timekeepers, and reduced our training costs by allowing more employees to attend each individual hands-on training session.
o Hanna Collins participated in the CES Intermediate Course for three weeks at Fort Leavenworth, KS. This Department of the Army leadership development course involved individual assessments, reflection, instruction, teamwork, and multiple group projects. The class focused on employee engagement and evaluation.
o John Szep, project management, earned his certification as a Department of the Army Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Szep was the first in his USACE class, which began in January, to be certified as a Black Belt. In addition to the required coursework and exams, he completed a project with multiple layers of review. His project, which focused on improvements to the District's processing of invoices, reduced the average time to receive and process invoices from 8 days to 2 days. This 75% reduction in the invoice turn-around time should save the District and our customers thousands of dollars every year.
o William Wallace participated in the Contracting Officer Review Board and received his Contracting Officer Warrant.
o Narissia Skinner successfully graduated from the Master Resiliency Training course on and now the District has a qualified person to help address our Ready and Resilient Campaign goals.
o Seven Resource Management personnel each earned DoD Financial Management certification, resulting in 58 percent of eligible SAC employees becoming certified in 2015
o In September, had very productive meetings with Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. In particular, Governor Haley was extremely proud of the District's accomplishment with Post 45. She considers us a partner with the state and stated, "We have your back."
o Met with SCDOT's Acting Secretary, Christy Hall, and her Chief of Staff, Wendy Nicholas. They provided a brief presentation outlining SCDOT's current workload, priorities and funding. After the presentation, we discussed potential avenues for streamlining the environmental process and working together as a team to accomplish the infrastructure challenges within the state.
o In March, met with our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. Across the board, the Congressmen and Senators emphasized the importance of Post 45.
o In November 2014, leaders and employees from across the District participated in a strategic planning session to review the District's mission, vision, end-state and goals looking forward through 2020.
o In October 2014, Sean McBride, public affairs specialist, and his fellow USACE Rising Stars, presented to USACE and Division Public Affairs leaders on what they did as a part of the rising star program to develop a product to measure communication effectiveness in USACE. They highlighted their key takeaways for developing and enhancing the program in the future.
• In September, Lisa Metheney, Charleston DPM, was the guest lecturer in the Project Management 651 course at the Lowcountry Graduate School. Metheney’s lecture featured Charleston Harbor Post 45 as a practical application of Project Management principles. She is a recurring guest lecturer, having presented each semester for the past two years.
• In April, the District hosted SC State University at the Cooper River Rediversion Project Fish Lift. The tour went well and SCSU greatly appreciated the events.
• In March, Timberland High School visited the fish lift on a field trip. Additionally, the District hosted the FEA at the Fish Lift to highlight this feature and the hydropower plant that the District maintains to some of our federal partners and stakeholders.
• In February, the Charleston Charter School of Math and Science visited the St. Stephen Fishlift. The District had an active schedule of local schools visiting the fishlift this season, especially with the newly renovated viewing room.
• In February, participated in the Charleston STEM Festival. The festival was a highly visible outdoor event that provided opportunity for engagement and exchange between children, teens, families, and local STEM professionals. The District manned an exhibit and helped promote USACE during the event.
• In July and August, the District hosted a Cadet from the University of Kentucky’s Army ROTC Program. Cadet Lucas Garrett spent approximately 30 days immersed in nearly every District division, including Regulatory, Operations, and Construction. In July, Operations hosted Cadet Garrett and a local high school student interested in pursuing a STEM degree in college. They received an in-depth tour of the Cooper River Rediversion Project and fishlift, spent a day on the survey vessel Wilson, and made site visits to dredged material placement areas with navigation staff. All of the visits were underpinned with discussion of possible career paths and the opportunities with SAC and USACE.
• Hosted an Ashley Hall School student for several days of shadowing in the District. She accompanied SAC staff on the survey vessel Wilson to the Clouter Creek Disposal Area, and time on a clamshell dredge.
• Conducted an Engineer Branch/Officer Brief with the juniors of the Clemson ROTC Program. We received positive feedback from the students in the program, of which a handful are interested in the Engineer Branch.
• In November 2014, renewed the education partnership between the Charleston District and South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. The university has new leadership with President Thomas J. Elzey. After the formal signing, The Dean of Engineering, Dr. Kenneth D. Lewis, took leadership through their new engineering facilities which accommodates most of the STEM majors.
• In November, Coastal Carolina University students visited the District to hear about USACE missions and real world application of environmental studies and scientific information on projects to make and support decisions. The students were very responsive to the interactive presentation.
• In November, participated in a brown bag lunch lecture to the Citadel's Biology club. The focus of the meeting was to educate the biology majors on ways to use their degree in biology in a variety of career fields. The employees represented the District well and emphasized the benefits of working for the federal government and practical application of using their science degrees.
• In October, briefed students of the Clemson University CSM department on USACE's mission and breadth of the construction programs, as well as our emphasis on safety, quality, time and cost. The students asked insightful questions about our role in various projects, positions available to them, and key traits we seek in our employees. Feedback from the department professors was very positive and far exceeded their expectations.
• In October, met with members of the Citadel faculty to discuss formalizing our STEM Partnership with them. The District has never had a formal agreement; rather, employees supported the effort on a regular basis due to our strong connection with the Citadel and our close proximity. The Citadel is working hard locally and across the state of SC to further the STEM initiative. Working together, we feel that it will be mutual beneficial.
• The Polk Swamp PDT took high school students from Charleston to see how science and engineering is applied to restore and enhance degraded environmental resources.