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Coastal grants for Cay Creek, septic tank count
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In addition to the Cattle Hammock marina planning, two other area projects have received federal coastal incentive grants.

The city of Midway won a $29,900 grant to enhance interpretive signs at the Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center, and the University of Georgia will receive $47,391 for a tri-county septic tank inventory.

The awards, federal money funneled through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program, require a 100 percent recipient match.

The Cay Creek project will add signs about the park’s two wetland habitat types and flora and fauna to enhance its role as an outdoor classroom, according to the project abstract.

“I was really excited about receiving the news that we got the grant,” Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington said. “Cay Creek is important to the area because it allows you to experience nature at its zenith. It can serve as an outdoor classroom for teachers as they guide their students in developing an appreciation for nature and Coastal Georgia. It can serve as an extraordinary tourist attraction to bring in revenue for Midway and Liberty County.”

The project will “increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of wetland issues, native species and biodiversity, and inform them about problematic exotic-invasive species,” the abstract said.

As an educational resource, the signs will provide ways to reduce water loss, improve water conservation in gardens and promote the use of native plants to support native pollinators as a way to reduce the threat of exotic-invasive plant species.

To complete the project, Midway is teaming with the Coastal WildScapes, a nonprofit that will provide volunteer hours and in-kind services for research, design, intern oversight and project management.

Washington added that the grant will provide more landscaping, additional picnic tables and a building where groups can gather for social or educational events.

The other grant has local ties, but will be administered through Atlanta and managed from Athens.

The UGA septic-tank inventory will cover Bryan, Liberty and McIntosh counties for the sake of water-quality monitoring, according to the abstract provided.

The UGA Marine Extension Service will enter all septic tank data into an online database in use in the majority of Georgia counties. Much of the information, such as permit installation dates, site information and system failures, is in paper form.

Resulting data will enable scientific studies to provide an understanding and assessment of the results of the water quality monitoring and status of human waste in the coastal region that can be applied to protect the water quality during future coastal planning.

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