The General Assembly finds that:

(A) The coastal zone is rich in a variety of natural, commercial, recreational and industrial resources of immediate and potential value to the present and future well-being of the State.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 48-39-20

  • Coastal zone: means all coastal waters and submerged lands seaward to the state's jurisdictional limits and all lands and waters in the counties of the State which contain any one or more of the critical areas. See South Carolina Code 48-39-10

(B) The increasing and competing demands upon the lands and waters of our coastal zone occasioned by population growth and economic development, including requirements for industry, commerce, residential development, recreation, extraction of mineral resources and fossil fuels, transportation and navigation, waste disposal and harvesting of fish, shellfish and other living marine resources have resulted in the decline or loss of living marine resources, wildlife, nutrient-rich areas, permanent and adverse changes to ecological systems, decreasing open space for public use and shoreline erosion.

(C) A variety of federal agencies presently operate land use controls and permit systems in the coastal zone. South Carolina can only regain control of the regulation of its critical areas by developing its own management program. The key to accomplishing this is to encourage the state and local governments to exercise their full authority over the lands and waters in the coastal zone.

(D) The coastal zone and the fish, shellfish, other living marine resources and wildlife therein, may be ecologically fragile and consequently extremely vulnerable to destruction by man’s alterations.

(E) Important ecological, cultural, natural, geological and scenic characteristics, industrial, economic and historical values in the coastal zone are being irretrievably damaged or lost by ill-planned development that threatens to destroy these values.

(F) In light of competing demands and the urgent need to protect and to give high priority to natural systems in the coastal zone while balancing economic interests, present state and local institutional arrangements for planning and regulating land and water uses in such areas are inadequate.