Council on Coastal Futures

In November 2002, the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control appointed the 19 members of the Council on Coastal Futures as an ad hoc advisory committee. The Board charged the council with documenting priority issues and concerns and recommending actions, programs and measures to improve the effectiveness of the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program.

In keeping with its mission, the council employed a very public process, conducting all its business in well-attended meetings that were open to the public. The council's recommendations for assuring the continued effectiveness of coastal management in South Carolina's rapidly changing coastal counties are summarized below. Included with the recommendations are suggested timelines for implementation, all of which are dependent on DHEC Board endorsement.

Summary of Recommendations

Regulatory Processes

  1. Improve internal DHEC coordination to ensure concurrent and expedited project review
  2. Improve cooperation between DHEC-OCRM and other agencies
  3. Implement a mandatory mediation program for all DHEC-OCRM permit appeals
  4. Improve the DHEC-OCRM public notices
  5. Clarify that conditions on DHEC-OCRM critical area permits continue for the life of the permit

Assistance to Local Government

  1. Build capacity at DHEC-OCRM to be a 'center of technical expertise' for local governments
  2. Continue DHEC implementation of the state stormwater permitting program
  3. Improve water quality by managing stormwater on a watershed basis

Coastal Resource Management Issues

  1. Encourage construction of community docks in lieu of multiple private docks
  2. Encourage voluntary dock planning by cooperating landowners
  3. Develop statewide legislation for managing freshwater wetlands
  4. Review DHEC's septic tank policy
  5. Identify marina dredging issues and problems, evaluate technologies and recommend preferred alternatives for spoil disposal
  6. Determine strategies and alternative funding sources for public beach access
  7. Fund the State Beach Renourishment Trust Fund
  8. Allow and encourage innovative stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and standards
  9. Develop a strategy for maintaining and inspecting stormwater BMPs
  10. Establish formal partnerships between DHEC-OCRM and state research institutions