Adapting to Shoreline Change: A Foundation for Improved Management and Planning in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control's Shoreline Change Advisory Committee proposes policies for shoreline management and provides guidance in this report for future coastal planning in South Carolina. The report is intended to "help clarify longstanding policy, reduce community vulnerabilities, resolve conflicts, improve public and private planning, save money, enhance key resource protections, reduce liabilities, and improve public access; but more generally, to ensure the long-term health of coastal shorelines and vitality of the coastal economy."

Recommendations are given under the premise of four over-arching goals to guide shoreline management:

  1. Limiting the exposure of communities to future erosion and sea-level rise
  2. Improving planning for soft armoring and beach renourishment projects
  3. Limiting the use of "hard" shoreline stabilization structures
  4. Enhancing the management of sheltered coasts

The report identifies policy options to limit the exposure of coastal communities to future sea level rise and erosion. Generally, the Committee recommends that local governments take on a more robust role in beach management and planning. For example, in order to limit seaward development, localities can establish boundary lines beyond which new development should not occur and strengthen setback requirements. Also, it is recommended that the state end subsidies to hazardous areas, government entities strategically acquire vulnerable lands, and that the state improve planning for beach renourishment.

The recommendation that the state support beach renourishment identifies specific policy options, including:

  • development of regional sediment management plans and more rigorous oversight of activities that may alter the shoreline;
  • improved monitoring of beach nourishment projects by the state; and
  • placing limitations on the use of hard stabilization structures.


Publication Date: April 2010

Related Organizations:

  • South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan

States Affected:


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