Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Press Releases

South Carolina House Approves Landmark Shoreline Management Bill

by Alan Hancock

Coastal Conservation League


Katie Zimmerman – [email protected], (843)725-1292
Alan Hancock – [email protected] (803) 361-1693

June 1, 2016

COLUMBIA, SC – Today the South Carolina House of Representatives approved the strongest protections for South Carolina beaches in 25 years. Scientists, developers, attorneys, and lawmakers have worked for nearly a decade to develop common-sense policies regarding development near beaches.

The shoreline management bill, S. 139, would permanently set a baseline from moving seaward along our state’s beachfront, restricting certain construction in hazard-prone areas.

Peter McCoy, State Representative for House District 115, which includes Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, said: “It has been an honor to stand up and fight for the shoreline protection bill. Preserving South Carolina coastal sanctuaries like Captain Sams Spit must remain a priority to the SC Legislature.”

Katie Zimmerman, Air, Water, and Public Health Director for the Conservation League, said, “Today’s victory is a win for South Carolina taxpayers, South Carolina beaches, and South Carolina’s natural environment.”

The Coastal Conservation League has worked on improving our shoreline management laws for nearly a decade, and League members sent thousands of emails to their Legislators in Columbia in support of these changes.

Elizabeth Hagood, a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission that developed the recommendations that led to this bill, said, “Passing this bill ensures common-sense restrictions on future development on our beaches.”

Josh Eagle, a University of South Carolina law professor and another Blue Ribbon Commission member approves of S. 139. “This bill includes language that reflects the most important recommendation of our state’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Shoreline Management: that we ought not to build on oceanfront property when there is a very high risk of future erosion at that location. While it is tempting to think of risky building as a matter that should be left to the property owner and the market, it is well-documented that the collision of erosion and beachfront homes results in substantial costs to South Carolina taxpayers, from replacing damaged infrastructure to subsidizing insurance to providing disaster relief. S. 139 embodies the idea that we ought to avoid these costs when we can.”

The bill requires a routine vote tomorrow, and then it will go to the Governor for signature to become law.


The Coastal Conservation League is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the coastal resources of South Carolina.  Our mission is to protect the natural landscapes, abundant wildlife, clean water and traditional communities by working with citizens, local governments and the state legislature.

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