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GEA PROJECTS

GEA coordinates and collaborates with numerous entities advancing environmental education through activities and programs within the environment to protect and enhance the environment in which we live.  Our focus includes conservation, resiliency, flood-water mitigation issues and many more.  Our programs include the Smart Reef Initiative, the SC7 Expedition, PowerPlant SC, Project Evergreen and many others.

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The Lords Garden

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Project Evergreen

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SMART REEF

GEA’s Smart Reef is an extension of a broader initiative focused on supporting increased integrated real time environmental observations and advanced modeling supporting an array of beneficial applications. A secondary focus is on technology development to enable cost effective distributed observing.

Global Eco Adventures has partnered with Coastal Carolina University in advancement of the Smart Reef Initiative to deploy the first of numerous artificial reef structures and scientific instrumentation.  The Smart Reef Initiative advances numerous goals including a combination of several of the floodwater commission task force recommendations: data collection to advance modeling for predicting and engineering of coastal environments to deal with issues of sea level rise and flooding; exploring the utility of artificial reefs to potentially be designed to effect coastal beach erosion while also supporting recreational fisheries; and, data collection for similar ideas of “living shorelines” such as oyster reef restoration projects to help mitigate marsh erosion in estuaries as well as the potential to employ further up the watershed.

The Smart Reef system adds data and facilitates real-time data feeds into the Coastal Carolina University Center’s interactively coupled ocean-atmosphere-wave-hydrologic modeling system to improve the advanced model applications to help inform discussions about tropical storm impacts (e.g. flooding, and storm surge) and eventually broader pressures and threats to our coastal environmental and economies.  The data also supports broad research interests related to the growing of reef system interactions with waves and currents as well as a wide range of natural resource management concerns.

Off the coast of South Carolina, hard-bottom and artificial reefs are located within the transition zone from land to ocean with input from both sides. Understanding the complex mechanisms in these areas is important for determining the best practices of preserving and utilizing the natural resources of this zone as well as obtaining useful predictive data for numerous applications as listed above.

SC 7 EXPEDITION

The South Carolina 7 (SC7) is a partnership between Global Eco Adventures and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. The mission of SC7 is to get people in the outdoors so they gain an appreciation for the outdoors, and therefore begin to actively do their part to protect the outdoors.

The signature event of SC7 is a 30-day expedition across South Carolina and led by world renowned explorer and South Carolina native, Tom Mullikin. Following the Palmetto Trail as the guiding pathway from the mountains to the sea, the annual expedition highlights the ‘CAROLINA 7’ – so-named for the seven geographic wonders unique to the Palmetto State. Along the SC7 route, the expedition team holds large-scale public events, media events, “Lunch & Learns”, the “Adventure Out” weekend in Charleston, and a Finish Line Celebration.

 

We have received a great deal of enthusiasm for this initiative and our growing list of partners include:  The SC Governor’s Office, South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, The Southern Edge, The Palmetto Trail, South Carolina Aquarium, Visit Oconee County, Pickens County, Riverstead, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, Dorchester County, Coastal Expeditions, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Boy Scout Troop 777, Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy / Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina - Just Right, South Carolina State Parks, Local Boy Outfitters, Yamaha, Dip Stick Branding and Wildwater and many more.

 

We showcase the natural beauty of South Carolina while creating greater awareness of the necessity of protecting our precious natural resources and the environmental threats posed to the most vulnerable areas of our state. We will highlight and explore the South Carolina Seven (SC7), what we have established as the seven geographic wonders of South Carolina. Along the route there will be opportunities to discuss topics such as conservation, resiliency, floodwater-mitigation issues, and more.

In 2023 more than 16-million people followed SC7 from Coast-to-Coast.

 

Find more information event at:  https://www.southcarolina7.com

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POWERPLANT SC

GEA has partnered with numerous groups statewide to conduct PowerPlantSC, a part of an ongoing effort to plant 10-million trees in South Carolina over 10 years. The inaugural event, PowerPlantSC 2021, led to a record planting of three-million pine tree seeds and saplings in a single day, statewide. “We set a record on Earth Day [April 22, 2021] with the largest single-day tree planting event in American history,” says Dr. Tom Mullikin, who was tapped by Gov. Henry McMaster to lead the South Carolina Floodwater Commisson in 2018. “This year will be yet another record, and like the 2021 effort, the Arbor Day tree-planting will involve a broad coalition of public, private and non-profit environmental partners which will not only raise awareness of the importance of trees to human and environmental health, but will aid in the mitigation of disastrous flooding which has plagued the Palmetto State since at least 2015 and even before.”

According to Mullikin: “For each tree planted, 60 gallons of water run-off is avoided, 443 gallons of rainfall is intercepted, and 133 pounds of carbon dioxide is sequestered annually.” Estimates, according to Commission officials, are based upon USDA Forest Service research.

“This is vital,” says Mullikin, adding: “Forested areas play a key role in flood mitigation, water filtration and carbon storage. As such, the Floodwater Commission will continue its effort to engage communities across the state in tree planting to create greater resiliency strategies for the Palmetto State.”

 

More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PowerPlantSC

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GEA ECO BALL

The objective of the annual GEA EcoBall is to raise funds for the GEA educational objectives and recognize the leaders who have championed the environmental priorities of GEA.  GEA strives to create a meaningful event each year celebrating and recognizing community leaders in the field of environmental stewardship, education, awareness and resiliency.

 

Governor Henry McMaster, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan, S.C. Senator Thomas Alexander, and Dr. Tom Mullikin, founder of Global Eco Adventures (GEA), celebrated with other VIP legislators, business and military leaders, and university presidents at GEA’s 2023 annual Eco Ball dinner and awards ceremony. 

 

“We are blessed with the greatest place to live in the whole country,” said Gov. McMaster, who served as the 2023 EcoBall keynote speaker. “There is no place else like South Carolina.” Adding, “We have work to do” referring to the increasing need to protect the Palmetto State’s natural wonders and fragile ecosystems for future generations.

 

Awards were presented during the 2023 event including the GEA Educator of the Year award, presented to Dr. Michael Amiridis, the president of the University of South Carolina. First Lady Peggy McMaster, received GEA’s Environmental Champion award as did Maj. Gen. Will Grimsley, former executive secretary of the S.C. Department of Veterans Affairs; and Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. 

 

Congressman Jeff Duncan was presented with GEA’s Jim Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award. 

 

Speaker Murrell Smith of the S.C. House of Representatives received GEA’s Legislator of the Year award as did S.C. Representative Sylleste Davis. And former U.S. Marine Recon Sgt. Rudy Reyes, a member of FORCE BLUE, a GEA SCUBA diver, and star of the HBO miniseries “Generation Kill,” was presented GEA’s IRONMAN award. A number of previous Ironman recipients were in attendance.

 

GEA also presented a $5,000 check for disaster relief to Chief Resilience Officer Ben Duncan, S.C. Department of Resilience. 
 

​DOWNLOAD THE 2024 GEA ECOBALL FLYER HERE

The GEA Adventure Club consists of hikes and activities at local, state and national parks in South Carolina to build awareness of the variety of activities and resources available at no cost for healthy recreation. The program offers academic and applied knowledge of outdoor activities to adolescents. Other family members are welcome and encouraged to participate. The program builds confidence, knowledge, and physical strength and stamina.

 

The GEA Adventure Club is a program centered on learning about the environment while hiking in the outdoors. Included are environmental educational programs are conducted by guest lecturers and experts from various fields such as ecology, the environment, biology, health and nutrition.

 

Hiking is considered a “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” and this physical activity has many health benefits. Through this program, the participants will be exposed to hiking and other outdoor activities they can continue throughout their lifetime. 

 

Our next program will be held at Goodale State Park (9:00 am) and includes a 2 mile hike and a presentation by Margaret Buckelew from Pine Tree Hill Wildlife Rescue.  Pine Tree Hill Wildlife rescue is a local non-profit organization whose goal is to rehabilitate orphaned, injured, and displaced wildlife with the goal of returning each animal back to its natural environment.  Ms. Buckelew will discuss wildlife in South Carolina and the importance of their work with animal rescue.

 

Download this flyer for additional program dates and  locations.

 

If you are interested in participating, please contact Cam Mullikin at cam@globalecoadventurures.org for more information and to enroll.

 

There is no fee to participate.

SMART REEF
SC7
POWERPLANT
GEA ECOBALL
Adventue Club
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