Saturday, January 27, 2018 Blog · News

Firm Stance on Shifting Shorelines

by Emily Cedzo

This is urgent. We need your help stopping a bill that puts coastal communities at risk.

Senate Bill 927 reverses the landmark Shoreline Management Bill you fought so hard for two years ago, and cuts against more than 30 years of thoughtful beachfront policy. That bill, which became state law, established a baseline that would not move seaward and helps us find safe places to build on the coast.

Last fall, DHEC released new beachfront lines, but the rollout process was a little rocky. Coastal homeowners were rightly frustrated by the lack of public notice and transparency.

S. 927 appears to be an attempt to respond to the botched process, but it misses the mark – and instead damages sound coastal management policy. There are problems with the process, not the policy.

S. 927 will be reviewed first by a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday morning. Let your Senator know right now that you do not support S. 927 or efforts to scrap vital shoreline law. You can also sign up to speak at Wednesday’s hearing or email the committee using our form by Sunday night.

There are ways to make the process better without overhauling the Shoreline Management Bill. Regulatory reform can guarantee homeowners and municipalities have access to all shoreline data, as well as improve DHEC’s public notification and appeals process.

S. 927 throws out decades of thorough, scientific study and snubs prior expert recommendations. Scientists and coastal geologists need time to review this bill.

The South Carolina Senate can try to change shoreline law, but it cannot amend the laws of physics. Our shoreline is changing. Beaches are eroding, and state law should not encourage development in risky places.

S. 927 ignores the fact that shorelines in South Carolina are eroding, redefines what constitutes a dune, and prohibits beach surveying within a year of a storm. In South Carolina, if we are asked to wait a year after each storm event, we’ll wait forever.

So, I’m asking you this today: Do we want to encourage risky development? More frequent and more costly beach nourishment? Home bailouts at taxpayer expense?

Or do we want sound science and policy to drive our state’s beachfront management?

Please email your Senator today. Ask them to stop S. 927. Let them know you think we should focus on improving process problems, not overhauling good policy. Ask them to consult scientists. Urge them to act responsibly and regard public health and safety. Here’s a form to help you get started:

I will keep you posted on our progress,

Emily Cedzo
Land, Water & Wildlife Program Director

Contact Us · 843.723.8035

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