South Carolina’s Shoreline Change Initiative
The Shoreline Change Initiative was created by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM) in 2007. The Initiative aims to improve upon the existing regulatory coastal management framework established by the Beachfront Management Act of 1988 in order to keep pace with the long-term challenges of erosion, sea level rise, and coastal storms.
Sea level rise, erosion, and the increased frequency and severity of coastal storms expected with global climate change sparked the creation of the South Carolina Shoreline Change Initiative. Twenty-three experts, including scientists, managers, planners, and non-governmental representatives, formed the Shoreline Change Advisory Committee. This committee was charged with examining shoreline impacts from sea level rise, erosion, coastal storms, and rapid shoreline development.
The Shoreline Change Advisory Committee released the 2010 report Adapting to Shoreline Change: A Foundation for Improved Management and Planning in South Carolina. The report includes an overview of existing shoreline regulations and four goals and thirteen specific actions to improve coastal management in South Carolina.
Goal 1. Minimize Risks to Beachfront Communities
Recommendation 1 – Prevent the Seaward Expansion of Beachfront Development
Recommendation 2 – Strengthen the Beachfront Setback Area
Recommendation 3 – Eliminate Inconsistent Public Subsidies
Recommendation 4 – Strategically Acquire Beachfront Lands and/or Easements
Recommendation 5 – Strengthen the Role of Local Governments
Goal 2. Improve the Planning of Beach Renourishment Projects
Recommendation 6 – Develop and Implement Regional Sediment Management Plans
Recommendation 7 – Strengthen Reviews of Nearshore Dredging and Other Alterations
Recommendation 8 – Improve Beach Nourishment Monitoring
Goal 3. Maintain Prohibitions and Further Restrict the Use of Hard Stabilization Structures
Recommendation 9 – Refine Criteria for Emergency Orders and Sandbags
Recommendation 10 – Improve Guidelines for Groins and Breakwaters
Recommendation 11 – Expand Beachfront Real Estate Disclosure Requirements
Goal 4. Enhance the Management of Sheltered Coastlines
Recommendation 12 – Manage Erosion Control in Estuaries
Recommendation 13 - Establish Non-Beachfront Shoreline Buffer Areas
Outcomes and Conclusions
The Shoreline Change Advisory Committee released a report with various recommendations to improve shoreline policy and management action in South Carolina. DHEC-OCRM staff will review these recommendations and provide specific responses to help local and state officials develop a coordinated shoreline management response to sea level rise, coastal storms, and erosion.
Gregg, R. M. (2010). South Carolina's Shoreline Change Initiative [Case study on a project of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/south-carolina’s-shoreline-change-initiative (Last updated December 2010)