The South Carolina Coastal Management Program was established under the guidelines of the national Coastal Zone Management Act (1972) as a state-federal partnership to comprehensively manage coastal resources. It was authorized in 1977 under SC's Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands Act (CTWA) with the goal of achieving balance between the appropriate use, development, and conservation of coastal resources in the best interest of all citizens of the state.
DHEC's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management is the designated state coastal management agency and is responsible for the implementation of the state's Coastal Management Program. Implementation includes the direct regulation of impacts to coastal resources within the critical areas of the state including coastal waters, tidelands, beaches and beach dune systems; and indirect certification authority over federal actions and state permit decisions within the eight coastal counties.
The broad authority provided by the Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands Act is outlined in the Coastal Zone Management Program Document. The Program Document is required by the Federal Government and was approved by the General Assembly in 1979. The Program Document contains essential elements of coastal management, including policies and procedures used for direct authority decision-making and indirect Coastal Zone Consistency review of other state and federal agency actions.