South Carolina's coastal zone is subject to well-known hazards associated with coastal storms as well as long-term, gradual changes such as continued sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. These hazards can place environmental, economic, and cultural resources at risk. DHEC is currently working on several hazard mitigation and planning activities including participation on the State Hazard Mitigation Interagency Coordination Committee (led by the SC Emergency Management Division) and a variety of policy initiatives at the state, regional, and national level. The SC Beachfront Management Act also requires documentation of post-storm recovery plans in Local Comprehensive Beach Management Plans, and DHEC staff provide technical assistance to communities preparing these plans. DHEC-OCRM was also recently appointed as the lead SC agency for regional approaches to coastal disaster resilience under the Governor's South Atlantic Alliance.
DHEC, in partnership with the Governors' South Atlantic Alliance, is promoting the use of a new spatial analysis tool that can be used by state and local coastal managers and scientists to improve comprehensive and hazard mitigation planning, post-disaster redevelopment, as well as determine areas best suited for restoration and mitigation efforts. The Hazard Vulnerability Assessment tool (HVA) evaluates coastal hazard vulnerability from four hazards: storm surge, shoreline change rate (erosion or accretion), flooding, and social/economic vulnerability (SoVI®). The final product is a vulnerability index on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the least risk, 5 being the most risk). In addition to this composite product, HVA also produces products for Inundation (surge + flooding), Inundation + SoVI®, and Shoreline Change (rate, plus temporal and spatial variations). Users can examine each hazard component to see what has the most impact in any given area and create files that can be integrated into GIS. The tool is stand-alone, open source and available free to all users.
MyCoast: South Carolina App
MyCoast is a mobile-device-enabled website that lets you upload photographs and characterize environmental conditions associated with coastal events. MyCoast houses two programs: