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South Atlantic Chapter 2024 Conference

South Atlantic Chapter 2024 Conference

6/19/2024 - 6/21/2024


Sustaining Our Roots: Balancing Development, Conservation, and Wetland Restoration 

Join us for the SWS-SAC 2024 Conference in Pensacola Beach, Florida, from June 19th to 21st, 2024. Themed Sustaining Our Roots: Balancing Development, Conservation, and Wetland Restoration, this conference explores the critical intersection of wetland science, environmental conservation, and sustainable development. Featuring workshops, field trips, oral and poster presentations, networking opportunities, and a special focus on student mentorship, this event brings together professionals, academics, and students passionate about preserving our wetland ecosystems. Don't miss this chance to engage with experts, exchange ideas, and shape the future of wetland conservation!

Registration prices will increase after June 1, so register today!

Submit your abstract here

Registration Pricing:

  • Conference registration (regular): $350
  • Conference registration (student): $100

Additional Items:

  • Student Mentorship Luncheon (students only): $25
  • Implementing the Uniform Wetland Assessment Method (UMAM) Workshop: $250
  • Hydric Soils Workshop: $250
  • Blackwater River Tubing Field Trip: $100
  • Blackwater River State Forest and Escribano Point Field Trip: $50
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos Game: $40
  • Project Greenshores Guided Tour Field Trip: Free

Tentative AgendaWednesday, June 19th, 2024


1. UMAM Workshop - Matthew Miller (8 am - 12 pm, minimum 10 people, $250 ) Guadeloupe A This workshop will provide an introduction to wetland functional assessments and wetland mitigation implementation.

2. How to identify FeS, a recognized hydric soil indicator, in the absence of hydrogen sulfide in a coastal wetland - Richard Chinn (8 am - 12 pm, minimum 10 people, $250) Guadeloupe C A hands-on class on how to estimate/determine organic matter content in sand to distinguish between muck, mucky sand and no muck, using the AGCP Regional Supplement, the densities of organic matter and silica and the combustion method. This workshop will also discuss a better way to use the "Hydrogen Sulfide" Hydrology and Hydric Soil indicator, particularly in estuarine and marine environments.

3. Blackwater River State Forest and Escribano Point Field Trip (Meet at Hotel Lobby @ 7 am)

The red-cockaded woodpecker is on the Endangered Species list due to loss of habitat from logging and land clearing. In 1998, the Blackwater population had dwindled to just 12 pairs of birds. Since then, staff have translocated birds, installed artificial nest cavities, and proactively managed habitat to bring the population to recovery levels. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are social birds that live in family groups, staying close to their cavities and working cooperatively to build and maintain their homes and raise nestlings. They protect their nests by pecking resin wells which ooze pitch, giving the trees a white coating that can be seen from a long distance.

Seepage slopes are wetlands embedded within the high pine forest, and occur where underground water reaches the surface due to underlying clay layers. The wet, sandy, bogs are home to a wild variety of plants, including orchids and several carnivorous species. Locally, they are known as pitcher-plant bogs. Forest managers maintain these open, herbaceous plant communities by applying fire frequently.

Field Trip

Project Greenshores Guided Tour Field Trip (Meet at Hotel Lobby @ 7 am) This guided walking tour along Pensacola Bay will highlight Project Greenshores. Project GreenShores is a multimillion dollar habitat restoration and creation project in downtown Pensacola along the urban shoreline of Pensacola Bay. This habitat restoration effort partners DEP's Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves with the city of Pensacola, Escambia County, the Ecosystem Restoration Support Organization, the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, Gulf Power, local agencies, businesses and volunteers in a community-based effort to restore oyster reef, salt marsh and seagrass habitat within the Pensacola Bay System. Restoring the Pensacola Bay estuary to its historic state stabilizes shorelines and provides essential habitat for wildlife propagation and conservation.

Icebreaker Event 

Humble Oyster Movie Screening (Holiday Inn @ 5 pm) How can such a small creature make such a large impact? To tell the story of oysters in the Northwest Florida region, the Pensacola and Perdido Bay Estuaries Program (PPBEP) turned to the Mississippi State University (MSU) Television Center. Having been impressed by a previous short film focused on the Escambia Bay Watershed, PPBEP asked the TV Center to produce a half hour documentary outlining the importance of these indigenous oysters and their importance to the area’s ecology and economy. The MSU Films team followed the efforts of individuals working to revive the commercial oyster industry, supplemented by historical and expert perspectives on Pensacola oysters. The film, called, “The Humble Oyster” premiered regionally on WSRE-TV and was recognized with a 2023 Southeast Regional Emmy for Environment / Science – Long Form.


Thursday, June 20, 2024
7:00 - 8:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsRegistration & Coffee
8:00 - 8:15GuadeloupeWelcoming Address, Chief Dan Skyhorse
8:15 - 9:00GuadeloupeKeynote Speaker - Mark Rains (CSO Florida, USF)
9:00 - 9:15St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
9:15 - 9:501GuadeloupeJennifer Volk (UCF).  Soil Biogeochemical Properties Associated with Coastal Wetland Stability in
the Tolomato River Estuary
9:50-10:252GuadeloupeAshlynn Smith (UF).  Novel approaches may improve wet prairie restoration outcomes
10:25 - 11:003GuadeloupeMadeline Estes (UF).  Developing seed-based restoration of Spartina alterniflora (smooth
cordgrass) for living shorelines in Florida
11:00 - 11:354GuadeloupeCarie Reinhardt Adams (UF).  Enhancing sediment stability in Florida living shorelines projects
with plant selection and planting design
11:35 - 12:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
12:00 - 1:30NevisWorking Lunch (Students)
1:30 - 1:45St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
1:45 - 2:205GuadeloupeAnthony Mirabito (UCF).  Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Content Within Mineral Associated Organic
Matter of Natural and Created Coastal Wetlands
2:20- 2:556GuadeloupeKatherine Johnson (UCF).  Constructed Treatment Wetland Systems as Effective Tools for
Microplastic Removal
2:55 - 3:307GuadeloupeEdgar Guerron Orejuela (USF).  CReST: A Conservation and Restoration Screening Tool for
3:30 - 4:058GuadeloupeMercedes Pinzon (UCF).  Implications of Mangrove Migration and Nitrogen Enrichment on
Mineral-Associated Organic Matter Formation in Coastal Wetlands in Florida
4:05- 4:409GuadeloupeAdam Herdman (UF).  The Reintroduction of the Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii): Survival
and attachment of Plants Germinated Ex Situ
4:40 - 5:30St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
5:30 - 6:00NevisSWS-SAC Chapter Meeting
6:00 - 8:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsWelcome Reception (Light hors d'oeurve); Student Poster Session and Judging
Friday, June 21, 2024
7:00 - 8:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsRegistration & Coffee
8:00 - 8:30GuadeloupeAwards (Student; Logo Design Award)
8:30 - 8:45GuadeloupeDay 2 Welcoming Address, DC Reeves (Mayor of Pensacola, invited)
8:45 - 9:30GuadeloupeKeynote Speaker #2- Royal Gardner (Stetson University)
9:30 - 10:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
10:00 - 10:3510Guadeloupe ARichard Chinn (RCET). The Current Status of Section 404 Assumption in Florida
11Guadeloupe CHaley Gancel (PPBEP).  Using the National Wetlands Condition Assessment to assess the health
of wetlands in Pensacola and Perdido Bays
10:35 - 11:1012Guadeloupe ATim Hull (OCEPD).  Science Driven Policy: Protecting Orange County's Wetlands
13Guadeloupe CPaul Looney (WRA) and Amy Mixon (AECOM).  Bayou Chico Restoration Project
11:10 - 11:4514Guadeloupe AMatthew Miller (WRA).  Pasco County's Ecologic Corridors as a Tool for Smart Growth
15Guadeloupe CMatt Posner - PPBEP
11:45 - 12:00St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
12:00 - 1:30NevisWorking Lunch (Science Panel - Local Projects Discussion)
1:30 - 1:45St. Croix Hall/St. BartsNetworking break
1:45 - 2:2016Guadeloupe AKristie Gianopulos (NCDEQ).  Tipping Points and Changes in North Carolina's Outer Coastal Plain
17Guadeloupe CLocal Presentation
2:20 - 2:5518Guadeloupe AWarren Wagner (GPC).  A novel low-impact approach for working in tidal salt marsh to rebuild a
4-mile segment of electric transmission line in Savannah, GA.
19Guadeloupe CLocal Presentation
2:55 - 3:3020Guadeloupe AKimberli Ponzio (SJRWMD).  Herbicide use for Salix caroliniana management – how long will it
21Guadeloupe CLocal Presentation
3:30 - 4:0522Guadeloupe ALisa Chambers (UCF).  Expanding ‘Blue Carbon’ Inventories to Include Measures of Soil Carbon
23Guadeloupe CLocal Presentation
4:10 - 4:30St. BartsFinal Conference Closing Remarks
7- 10 pm
Pensacola Blue Wahoos Baseball Game

Sponsorship Levels

Title Sponsor (1 available): $5,000•All the benefits of a Beach Mouse Sponsor•Company logo alongside the Conference Logo on all emails and marketing material•Large Company logo on the front of the SWAG bagStudent Poster Session Sponsor (1 available): $5,000•All the benefits of a Beach Mouse Sponsor•Individual company recognition of sponsorship at the selected break•Company representative included on the student poster session judging panel and will present the award to the student recipients•Company representative included in the student luncheon panel•Small company logo included on the swag bagBeach Mouse Sponsor (5 available): $3,000•All the benefits of a Sand Dune Sponsor•Additional 3 complimentary conference registrations (5 total, $2,250)•Medium sized company logo on the swag bagSand Dune Sponsor (10 available): $1,500•All the benefits of a Seagull Sponsor•Additional complimentary conference registration (2 total, $900 value)•Exhibitor boothSeagull Sponsor (unlimited and In-Kind Sponsor for Planning Committee Members): $1,000•Small company logo included on the swag bag•1 Complimentary conference registration ($450 value)•Company recognition at the start of each daySurf Break Sponsor (6 available): $550•Small company logo included on the swag bag•Individual company recognition of sponsorship at the selected break 

Hotel Information
*Note: group events will be taking place at The Holiday Inn Resort

We have rooms blocked off at the following locations. Please use the information below to reserve a room and mention you are with the Society of Wetland Scientists:

  • Holiday Inn Resort ($389/night), 14 Via De Luna Dr., Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
    • Book online
    • Direct contact for booking: Katie McPhail (DOS - Holiday Inn Resort) -
    • To book by phone: (850) 916-8082
  • Hilton ($389/night), 12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
    • Book online
    • To book by phone: (850) 916-2999 (mention the code "SAC" to receive the discounted room rate)
  • Fairfield Inn (20 rooms at a government rate of $214 - ID required; $389 regular rate), 16 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
    • Book online
    • Direct contact for booking: Jessie Newell (DOS - Fairfield) -
    • To book by phone: (850) 932-1889
Holiday Inn Resort
14 Via De Luna Dr.
Pensacola, FL 32561 United States
Event Contact
Matthew Miller
Send Email
6/19/2024 - 6/21/2024
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