Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup

Beach in South Carolina
Photo Credit: Alan Herrin, 2020

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) has convened a SC Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup to discuss and guide potential recommendations as our state moves from a policy of retreat to a policy of beach preservation. This workgroup brings together representatives of diverse stakeholder groups including residents of coastal communities, state and federal government agency representatives, academic professionals, conservation organizations, consulting engineers and policy experts with a commitment to actively participating in this process.  Meetings scheduled in the coming months will present resources and information to promote further dialogue and solution-based discussions. The group is encourgaged to maintain the perspective of the full SC coastline and to strive for consensus. DHEC OCRM staff will value all perspectives and take into consideration all discussions in determining the agency’s recommendations, which will be outlined in a final report as the stakeholder process concludes.  

The state’s beachfront policies and jurisdictional authorities are established under the SC Beachfront Management Act (BMA) in 1988 (Act 634) and later through amendments in 1990 (Act 607). Coastal Division Regulations associated with beachfront management were also adopted during this time period. Over the past three decades, these rules have guided where and how areas along the state’s beachfront can be developed. The BMA calls for promoting wise use and development of the state’s beachfront by implementing regulatory standards on the ocean side of the state’s beachfront jurisdictional setback line. In addition, the BMA states very clearly that the policy of the state of South Carolina is to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the beach/dune system. 

In 2018, the BMA was further amended by Act 173 and a new policy of beach preservation was adopted. In light of this change and the increasingly complex challenges faced by local and state governments, there is a need to evaluate current and future beachfront management approaches.

The members of the Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup will work to inform a future South Carolina Beach Preservation Committee by examining research and information related to beach preservation techniques, including shoreline stabilization, beach nourishment and dune restoration, and land management. The outcome will be a final report summarizing the deliberations and highlighting policy options for consideration.   

Final Report

South Carolina Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup Final Report - January 2023

Stakeholder Workgroup Members

Amy Armstrong, Executive Director, SC Environmental Law Project
Keith Bowers, President, Biohabitats
Jenny Brennan, Science and Policy Associate, Southern Environmental Law Center
Blanche Brown, General Manager, DeBordieu Colony Community Association, Inc.
Alex Butler, Resilience Planning Director, SC Office of Resilience
Emily Cedzo, Senior Program Director of Land, Water and Wildlife, Coastal Conservation League
Melissa Chaplin, Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Nicole Elko, Executive Director, SC Beach Advocates
Paul Gayes, Executive Director Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, Coastal Carolina University
Justin Hancock, Director of Recreation, Grants and Policy, SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Iris Hill, Town Administrator, Town of Edisto Beach
Aaron Pope, City Administrator, City of Folly Beach
Jack Smith, Attorney, Nelson Mullins
Don Thomas, Managing Broker, Peace Sotheby’s International Realty
Steven Traynum, Vice President, Coastal Science and Engineering
Rod Tyler, President, Green Horizons Environmental, LLC
Robert Young, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Stakeholder Workgroup Meetings

November 17, 2022

October 25, 2022

September 21, 2022

August 25, 2022

July 15, 2022

June 17, 2022

Previous Technical Advisory Committee Meetings

Community Engagement 

Please see the public notice in order to "Add Comment" anytime during or after the Committee meetings.


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