North Myrtle Beach Mayor, Marilyn Hatley, acting in her role as Vice Chairperson of the South Carolina Beach Advocates organization, traveled to Columbia, SC on March 31 to participate in a hearing on “Dedicated State Funding for Beach Preservation”.
During her remarks, Mayor Hatley said that the economic benefits resulting from beach preservation or renourishment do not accrue only to the beach communities.
Mayor Hatley also pointed out that, if one considers property ownership east of the Intracoastal Waterway along the South Carolina coast, it is again clear that the beaches are a statewide asset.
“Our message is that South Carolina’s beaches are a statewide treasure and generator of revenue that require a strategic, long-term investment in regular maintenance,” Mayor Hatley said.
“It just makes good sense. Revenue from our beaches positively impacts all of South Carolina and we should not have to start from scratch every time renourishment is determined by appropriate agencies to be necessary. We are not asking the state to do it all, only to establish dedicated funding for its share so that when we have to act to preserve our beaches, we can do so in a timely manner.”
In addition to Mayor Hatley, South Carolina Beach Advocates Executive Director, Nicole Elko, Pawley’s Island Mayor, Bill Otis, and Edisto Beach Mayor, Jane Darby, participated in providing testimony to the panel.
The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control and the South Carolina Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department also partnered with South Carolina Beach Advocates to encourage dedicated funding of beach preservation and renourishment.