Officials participate in annual meeting
The South Carolina Beach Advocates held its 2016 Annual Meeting Dec. 7-8 at the Isle of Palms.|
Founded in 2015, South Carolina Beach Advocates is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates for investment in South Carolina’s beaches, from restoration to research, to preserve this critical resource.
South Carolina Beach Advocates objectives include identifying and advocating for funding, research and policy needs; promoting public and private efforts; communicating the application of sound science and management practices; and working with other state and national organizations toward common goals.
“Resilience in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew” was the theme of the annual meeting, which provided opportunities for South Carolina beach stakeholders to learn together and develop a stronger voice for South Carolina beach preservation.
North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley currently serves as vice chairman of the organization. She was also instrumental in helping to found the organization.
Mayor Hatley chaired an annual meeting session entitled, “Beach Preservation Collaborations.” It included a variety of speakers who discussed endangered species, FEMA remapping and its associated appeals process, accreted lands on South Carolina’s barrier islands and how some communities in North Carolina are pooling resources to contract for locally funded beach projects.
City Council members Bob Cavanaugh, Fred Coyne and Nicole Fontana also participated in the annual meeting.
North Myrtle Beach City Manager Mike Mahaney moderated a panel on South Carolina beach preservation efforts, which included his presentation on North Myrtle Beach’s current efforts to obtain emergency beach renourishment funding, a look at the city’s history of beach renourishment projects and information on the city’s ongoing ocean outfall program.
Mayor Hatley said that in South Carolina tourism is a $12 billion industry, with at least 60 percent generated along the coast.
“If our beaches suffer and cannot be properly maintained and consistently renourished, people may decide to visit another state, and then all of South Carolina will suffer,” Mayor Hatley said.