Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
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DOE Research Set-Aside Program



The DOE Research Set-Aside Program is a system of reserve areas established on DOE facilities to provide reference sites for understanding human impacts on the environment. Due to their protected status, they provide outstanding opportunities for many other kinds of ecological research as well. SREL administers the SRS Set-Aside Program and coordinates activities within and around the Set-Aside Areas. Set-Aside Areas are maintained in a natural state and receive as little management as possible. Set-Aside Areas are primarily for non-manipulative research. Research that would alter the long-term value of the Set-Aside is not permitted.

The SRS Set-Aside Program currently contains 30 research reserves totaling 5,668 ha, or approximately 7% of the SRS. These reserves were chosen as representatives of the eight major vegetation communities characteristic of the SRS: old fields, fall-line sandhills, upland hardwoods, pine forests, bottomland hardwood forests, swamp forests, Carolina bays, and freshwater streams and impoundments.


Program History

The origin of the Set Aside Program on the SRS can be traced to 1951, when the Atomic Energy Commission invited the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina to conduct baseline biological inventories and land-use surveys on the newly acquired Savannah River Plant (SRP; later renamed the Savannah River Site). Following these initial surveys, UGA researchers selected representative samples of the ecological habitats present on the SRP as potential research areas. In 1967 SREL recommended that the Atomic Energy Commission officially set aside seven of these areas for research. In 1968 these seven areas, plus three additional UGA sites, were officially and permanently protected as SREL Reserve Areas. The same year, the Society of American Foresters also registered two natural areas on the SRP, bringing the total number of protected areas to 12. These areas became DOE Research Set-Asides in 1972, when the SRP was designated as the nationís first National Environmental Research Park (NERP). In 1988 SREL requested to expand the SRS Set-Aside Program. DOE approved, adding 18 areas to the program for the present total of 30.


Maps and brief descriptions of each Set-Aside are available below. For more information on the Set-Aside Program, contact the program coordinator, Linda Lee, at 803.725.5883.

Area 1 - Field 3-412 / Ellenton Bay Description Map
Area 2 - UGA Old Laboratory Site Description Map
Area 3 - Sandhills Description Map
Area 4 - Loblolly Pine Stand Description Map
Area 5 - Oak-Hickory Forest 1 Description Map
Area 6 - Beech-Hardwood Forest Description Map
Area 7 - Mixed Swamp Forest Description Map
Area 8 - Steel Creek Bay Description Map
Area 9 - Cypress Grove / Stave Island / GA Power Description Map
Area 10 - Risher Pond Description Map
Area 11 - Myers Branch Description Map
Area 12 - Oak-Hickory Forest 2 Description Map
Area 13 - Organic Soils Site (Upper Three Runs Creek) Description Map
Area 14 - Mature Hardwood Forest Description Map
Area 15 - Whipple-OHER Study Site (Upper Three Runs Creek) Description Map
Area 16 - Rainbow Bay Amphibian Reserve Description Map
Area 17 - Craig's Pond and Sarracenia Bay Description Map
Area 18 - Boiling Springs Natural Area Description Map
Area 19 - Ginger's Bay Description Map
Area 20 - Thunder Bay Description Map
Area 21 - Flamingo Bay Description Map
Area 22 - Little Cypress Bay Description Map
Area 23 - Dry Bay Description Map
Area 24 - Cypress Bay Description Map
Area 25 - Mona Bay and Woodward Bay Description Map
Area 26 - Sandhills Fire Site Description Map
Area 27 - Road 6 Bay Description Map
Area 28 - Field 3-409 Description Map
Area 29 - Scrub Oak Natural Area Description Map
Area 30 - E. P. Odum Wetland Set-Aside Description Map