Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup

Beach in South Carolina
Photo Credit: Alan Herrin, 2020

In 2022, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC OCRM) convened a SC Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup to gain input and diverse perspectives on the state policy of beach preservation. The Workgroup represented various backgrounds and constituencies including federal, state, and local government representatives, community associations, the real estate community, academic and legal professionals, conservation organizations, private-sector consultants, industry representatives, and non-profit organizations. Workgroup members were presented with resources and information to promote dialogue and solution-based discussions. The group was encouraged to maintain the perspective of the full SC coastline and to strive for consensus. 

The state’s beachfront policies and jurisdictional authorities were 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 and highlights the state's policy to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the beach/dune system. 

In 2018, the BMA was further amended by Act 173 and a 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 Workgroup met seven times between June and December 2022. A final report, which highlights the group’s recommendations and key findings, was released in January 2023. A listing of Workgroup members and affiliations, as well as meeting agendas and presentations, and the final report are provided below.   

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, Inc. 
Jenny Brennan - Science and Policy Analyst | Southern Environmental Law Center
Blanche Brown - General Manager | DeBordieu Colony Community Association, Inc.
Alex Butler - Resilience Planning Director | SC Office of Resilience
Emily Cedzo - Director of Conservation Policy & Programs | Coastal Conservation League
Melissa Chaplin - Endangered Species Biologist/Recovery Team Lead | US Fish & 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 (Retired) | Town of Edisto Beach
Aaron Pope - City Administrator | City of Folly Beach
Jack Smith - Partner | Nelson Mullins
Don Thomas - Managing Broker | Peace Sotheby’s International Realty
Steven Traynum - President | Coastal Science and Engineering
Rod Tyler - President | Green Horizons Environmental, LLC
Robert Young - Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines | Western Carolina University

Stakeholder Workgroup Meetings

November 17, 2022

October 25, 2022

September 21, 2022

August 25, 2022

July 15, 2022

June 17, 2022

Beach Preservation Technical Advisory Committee

In 2021, DHEC OCRM convened a Beach Preservation Technical Advisory Committee as a precursor to the Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup to review the history of beachfront management in South Carolina and to begin consideration of the state’s policy of beach preservation.

October 21, 2021

December 6, 2021

Historic Workgroups and Committees


Career of Service