(A) A person desiring to conduct temporary, intermittent, recreational, small scale, noncommercial search and recovery of submerged archaeological historic property or submerged paleontological property shall apply for a hobby license from the institute. Any person collecting from state property such as river banks or beaches below the mean low watermark shall apply for a license.

(B) A person desiring to apply for a hobby license shall submit a completed application on a standard form prescribed by the institute together with a license fee. A license fee of five dollars for residents of this State and ten dollars for nonresidents must be charged for a six-month hobby license. A license fee of eighteen dollars for residents of this State and thirty-six dollars for nonresidents must be charged for a two-year hobby license.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 54-7-670

  • artifactual material: means any object or assemblage of objects found in an archaeological context which yields or is likely to yield information of significance to the scientific study of human prehistory, history, or culture, and which have remained unclaimed for more than fifty years. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Day: means a twenty-four hour period beginning at 12:00 midnight. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Excavation: means the process of moving, removing, or disturbing bottom sediments to expose submerged archaeological historic property or submerged paleontological materials. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Historic property: means a district, site, building, structure, or object significant in the prehistory, history, upland and underwater archaeology, architecture, engineering, and culture of the State, including artifacts, records, and remains related to the district, site, building, structure, or object. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Institute: means the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Licensee: means any person or entity authorized to perform certain recovery operations from a submerged archaeological historic property or submerged paleontological property under the provisions of this article by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Paleontological property: means paleontological material or any site which contains paleontological material. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Person: means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, organized group of persons, or any other legal entity. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Site: means :

    (a) the location of an event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure including a shipwreck, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, and its debris field where the location itself maintains historical or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure;

    (b) the location of an accumulation of paleontological material where the location itself maintains paleontological value. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • State: means the State of South Carolina. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Structure: means a constructed work made up of interdependent and interrelated parts in a definite pattern of organization. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Submerged: means beneath or substantially beneath the territorial waters of the State or submerged at mean low tide. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Submerged archaeological historic property: means any site, vessel, structure, object, or remains which:

    (a) yields or is likely to yield information of significance to scientific study of human prehistory, history, or culture; and

    (b)(i) is embedded in or on submerged lands and has remained unclaimed for fifty years or longer; or

    (ii) is included in, or has been determined, or may be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Submerged lands: means lands beneath or substantially beneath the territorial waters of the State or which are submerged at mean low tide. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620
  • Submerged paleontological property: means any object or assemblage of objects found in a paleontological context which yield or are likely to yield information of significance to the scientific study or educational potential of the past faunal diversity, past environments, geologic time, or other paleontological concerns. See South Carolina Code 54-7-620

(C) This nonexclusive statewide license may be granted optionally for a six-month or two-year period.

(D) Licenses may be granted to individuals or members of an immediate family.

(E) Hobby license holders may not exercise the privileges of their licenses in waters for which any type of exclusive license has been granted and is in effect or in waters for which such exclusive licenses become effective during the life of that exclusive license.

(F) This section limits the recovery of objects or materials from submerged archaeological historic property and submerged paleontological property under a hobby license to a limited number of objects which can be recovered by hand. All powered mechanical dredging and lifting devices and buoyancy equipment except a personal flotation device of any sort are prohibited including, but not limited to, prop wash, air lift, water dredge, and pneumatically-operated lift bags under the license.

(1) A person with a hobby license may collect from submerged lands of this State a reasonable number of artifactual items and/or complete and fragmented fossil specimens a day that:

(a) are exposed or resting on the bottom sediments of submerged lands; and

(b) do not require excavation to recover.

(2) No artifactual or paleontological materials may be recovered from submerged lands of this State unless they can be obtained by hand.

(3) No specimen may be recovered from a fossil specimen with joined or interrelated elements before contacting the museum.

(G)(1) All persons who have collected objects in accordance with Section 54-7-670 shall furnish the institute with a report which is to include a list of the objects and a description of the places from which the objects were recovered. Hobby divers are also encouraged, but not required, to include photographs or drawings of artifacts recovered and rough sketch plans of the site or map of the location with the exception of shipwreck sites covered under item (2) of this subsection. Reports submitted under a two-year hobby license must be filed within ten days following the end of the calendar quarter in which the activities took place. All reports under this license must be filed with the institute prior to submitting application for renewal of a hobby license. The institute will not consider applications for renewal until all outstanding reports have been received.

(2) No more than ten artifacts a day may be recovered from a shipwreck site. Divers may not destroy the integrity of the ship’s structure by removing or moving timbers, fittings, fastenings, or machinery. Hobby divers who have recovered any artifacts from a shipwreck site must include in the report both a locational reference to the shipwreck site by locating the site on a topographic or hydrographic chart and a sketch map of the wreck site showing the location from where the artifacts were recovered in relation to the wreck.

(3)(a) The institute shall review each list of objects and within sixty days from the receipt of the quarterly report release title to all artifacts reported.

(b) Objects recovered that are not considered by the institute to be artifactual items may be retained by the persons who collected the objects.

(c) If the institute has not acted by the end of the sixty days, title to the artifactual material recovered and listed on the hobby diver’s report is automatically conveyed to the licensee.

(d) If the institute has determined that the licensee has violated any of the terms of this article, the institute may require that the artifacts be turned over to the institute and revoke the license.

(H)(1) All persons who have collected fossil specimens in accordance with Section 54-7-670 shall furnish the museum commission with a report, which must include a list of the fossils and a description of the places from which the fossils were recovered. Hobby divers are also encouraged, but not required, to include photographs or drawings of fossils and rough sketch plans of the site or map of the location. All reports submitted under a two-year hobby license must be filed within ten days following the end of the calendar quarter in which the activities took place. All reports under this license must be filed with the institute prior to submitting application for renewal of a hobby license. The institute will not consider applications for renewal until all outstanding reports have been received.

(2)(a) The museum shall review each list of specimens and within sixty days from receipt of the quarterly report release title to all specimens reported.

(b) Specimens recovered that are not considered by the museum to be paleontological material may be retained by the persons who collected the fossils.

(c) If the museum has not acted by the end of the sixty days, title to the paleontological material recovered and listed on the quarterly report is automatically conveyed to the licensee.