South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Court urged to jettison sea-wall ban
March 7th, 2004

Beaufort County group says barrier needed to protect property

By SAMMY FRETWELL
Staff Writer

Landowners urge court to jettison sea-wall ban.

When state lawmakers banned oceanfront sea walls 16 years ago, they intended to keep South Carolina’s beaches from washing away.

Now, a court challenge threatens the state’s prohibition on new sea walls, which protect private property but, critics say, make beach erosion worse.

It’s one of the biggest challenges to South Carolina’s 1988 coastal management law in years, regulators and environmentalists say.

“The heart and soul of the beachfront management act is the ban on sea walls,” said Jimmy Chandler, a lawyer representing the S.C. Coastal Conservation League, which opposes sea walls. “If they succeed in this case, then the act will have been gutted”.