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SC Beach Advocates discuss maintaining beach nourishment along the coast

South Carolina Beach Advocates 10th annual meeting in North Myrtle Beach

Posted on January 31, 2024

Preserving South Carolina beaches is a priority for the South Carolina Beach Advocates (SCBA) group.

For the last decade, mayors and administrators from across the state’s beach communities have been meeting to discuss oceanfront health and nourishment.

Monday marked the first of their three-day annual event, with this year being held in North Myrtle Beach.

The focal point for the advocacy panel Monday was reviewing their work over the last ten years and explaining why upholding the state’s beaches is critical to our ecosystems and economy.

Folly Beach Mayor and SCBA Chairman Tim Goodwin said funding is always the organization’s number one battle.

South Carolina Beach Advocates 10th annual meeting in North Myrtle Beach

Every year, South Carolina beaches need nourishment, and the cost and severity of each depends on different impacts.

In the last decade, 30 named storms have left their mark along our coastline and more than 16 million yards of sand has been added to different beaches.

From 1980 to 2010, an estimated $323 million was spent on beach nourishment along the coast. Data shows the Grand Strand typically tends to be more stable than more southern regions.

However, the organization makes all beaches along the coast a priority – reflecting the last 10 years of the SCBA’s focus.

Without maintaining healthy, tended-to beaches, Goodwin said we risk losing wildlife, like sea turtles, whose numbers have increased over the years, clean natural amenities for residents and one of the state’s number one financial providers – tourists.

“It’s very important to the state too, for people to understand those tourism dollars don’t only stay on the coast. They get distributed all across the state. There’s a Robin Hood bill that was passed many years ago for tax money that gives counties that have little or no tourism a certain amount of tax dollars that are collected every year, so it helps everyone in the state of South Carolina,” said Goodwin.

He explains there are a few key factors in upholding their efforts.

South Carolina Beach Advocates 10th annual meeting in North Myrtle Beach

“We have been successful in getting money. We have been successful in doing some education. As people get elected and unelected, re-elected, you know, that education process never ends. So, if you don’t live on the coast and you live in the upstate, or you live somewhere else, that education process continues to go and go and go,” said Goodwin. “That’s probably the biggest thing we’ve done is get the education process out there to our elected officials and to the citizens of South Carolina and how much the beach means to everybody.”

Several state representatives were in attendance and spoke about different funding initiatives over the years that have helped bring money forward for beach nourishment. However, they said they want to be future forward and establish a recurring fund for beach nourishment to help sustain their efforts for longer than a five-year window.


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