August 2018 Meeting Recap

Participants of the August 21 meeting in Savannah, Georgia
Top row, left to right: Emanuele Di Lorenzo (Georgia Tech), Tom McDonald (City of Savannah), Russell Clark (Georgia Tech), Kim Cobb (Georgia Tech), Lalith Polepeddi (Georgia Tech). Bottom row, left to right: Jayma Koval (Georgia Tech), David Donnelly (City of Savannah), Randall Mathews (CEMA), Nick Deffley (City of Savannah), Jen Bonnett (The Creative Coast), Tim Cone (Georgia Tech), Carl V. Lewis (Open Savannah)

On August 21, 2018, members of the Savannah community learned about the new Smart Sea Level Sensors Project from Georgia Tech researchers and their City of Savannah and Chatham County collaborators. The forum was part of a day-long workshop at Creative Coast’s Bull Lab facility, and provided an opportunity for Savannah City Council members Bill Durrence and Julian Miller, in addition to members of the general public, to learn more about the plans for the project, ask questions, and provide input.

The project, one of four funded as part of the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, aims to place up to 100 internet-enabled water level sensors across Chatham County to provide real-time information to emergency planners and responders. Project partners include six Georgia Tech researchers led by Dr. Kim Cobb and Dr. Russ Clark, a City of Savannah team led by Nick Deffley (Environmental Services and Sustainability Director), and a Chatham Emergency Management Agency team led by Randall Mathews (Emergency Management Coordinator). Earlier in the month, the team had installed the first three sensors along the coast, in time to record the king tide event on August 10. In a set of short presentations, the Georgia Tech team presented an overview of the project goals and applications, the sensor technology and current deployment locations, and plans for additional research around coastal flooding risk. The team’s work also extends to the communication of coastal flooding risks through a Climate Stories effort aimed at highlighting coastal flooding risks and community-based solutions. Education efforts will focus on creating K-12 curricula that leverage the project data, anchored around a touch-screen display and exhibit planned for GT-Savannah. The workshop was covered by local news organizations, including Savannah Morning News, Savannah Business Journal, and WSAV-TV.

The next workshop for the Smart Sea Level Sensors team is scheduled for October 26 in Savannah. For more information about the project and related upcoming events, please contact Kim Cobb at