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Flagler College Receives a $600,000 Grant for Their Guana Peninsula Project

Aug 30, 2021

The NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative awarded Flagler College and the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) a $600,000 grant for their project “From Past to Present: Ecosystem Services and People at the Guana River,” led by Sarah Miller (Project Lead), Emily Jane Murray (Collaborative Lead), and Lori Lee (Technical Lead). The project will begin October 1, 2021, and end September 30, 2024.

The Guana Peninsula project aims to better understand, through a combination of archaeological investigations and applied anthropological methods, how people have used the cultural and natural the resources of the Peninsula in the past, as well as how people continue to use the resources today. These resources are at risk now more than ever due to threats from climate change impacts and development. Information gained from the grant-funded work will help current land managers understand and interpret the area's history, and inform and guide management strategies for cultural and environmental resources to best fit the needs of the existing stakeholder community.

Specifically, the grant funds will be used to model impacts from sea level rise over the next hundred years, monitor historical resources through Heritage Monitoring Scouts, organize surveys about coastal heritage, and lead excavations through Flagler College and archeology projects where members of the St. Augustine community will be asked to participate as well. “This project is truly an extension of our mission to provide education/outreach, assist local governments and the Florida Division of Historical Resources, and collaborate and provide opportunities for staff and students at Flagler College,” shared FPAN Northeast & East Central Region Director, Sarah Miller.

Flagler College students will have the opportunity to get involved with the Guana Peninsula project by conducting shovel test surveys about poorly understood sites and excavating test units about past people who lived in the Guana Peninsula. “We are excited to partner with FPAN, the NERRS, and community partners to provide Flagler students opportunities to help document, manage, and mitigate modern problems like climate change and historic preservation through applied anthropology and archaeology in our community,” said Lori Lee, associate professor of anthropology at Flagler College.

The partners that helped make it all possible are the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR), Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (GG CHCC), Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve (NPS), and North American Heritage at Risk (NAHAR).

Visit NERRS Science Collaborative announcement to learn more about the 2021 Research

Projects. They’re recommended for support by NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative, managed by the University of Michigan Water Center.


The Florida Public Archaeology Network's mission is to promote and facilitate the conservation, study and public understanding of Florida's archaeological heritage through regional centers throughout the state.  The northeast regional office has been hosted by Flagler College since 2006.  For more information on FPAN, visit https://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/

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