This release from Conservation Voters of South Carolina provides yet another measure of how things don’t change in South Carolina:
This is urgent. Last week we asked you to call your Senator, but we still need your help.
A bill before the S.C. Senate this week, S.890, would allow a special exemption to rebuild seawalls on our coast for the first time since 1988.
S. 890 was originally written to implement the recommendations of the DHEC-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee on Shoreline Management, but a small group of beach-front property owners is pressing for an amendment that would exempt their beach—DeBordieu—from laws that apply to every other beach-front property owner in South Carolina.
This exemption would set an awful precedent, rolling back meaningful protections against hardened structures and seawalls. We oppose seawalls because they don’t work, and increase erosion at neighboring beaches and communities along the coast.
Please email or call your Senator and urge them to oppose this special interest exemption and support South Carolina’s precious coastline—and the tourism it supports.
Director of Government Relations
Conservation Voters of SC
The Beachfront Management Act of 1988 was maybe the first really sweeping pieces of legislation to pass the Legislature after I came to work at The State in 1987 as governmental affairs editor. It was supposed to mandate a retreat from the beach, keeping structures from being built that would both exacerbate erosion and be vulnerable to the surf themselves.
I thought it heralded a new dawn of rational coastal development. Then came Hurricane Hugo the next year, which took out a lot of existing structures along the coast — all of which, it seemed to my inexpert eye, got rebuilt. Which made me think the legislation had been pretty ineffective.
But according to the CVSC, the law was at least effective in preventing the construction of seawalls that help with erosion in one spot, but exacerbate the situation elsewhere. Until now.
So here we are again, 26 years later…