DHEC is responsible for the management of South Carolina's beaches and the beach/dune system. Using historic shoreline and present-day profile information, DHEC designates a baseline and setback line along the coast. The baseline is typically placed at the crest of the primary sand dune (that is the dune immediately adjacent to the ocean) while the setback line is demarcated landward of the baseline. The setback line's distance from the baseline varies along the coast. It is determined by the annual erosion rate in that particular area. The minimum setback is 20 feet. The baseline and setback lines are revised every 8-10 years as required by the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Act. DHEC most recently completed the review cycle for baseline and setback line positions in 2010.
All construction seaward of the setback line requires an authorization or permit from DHEC-OCRM. Many activities are authorized by DHEC with General Permits. The 1990 Beachfront Management Act requires DHEC-OCRM to be notified of certain activities seaward of the setback line. Such activities include new construction, additions and renovation of habitable structures as well as construction and replacement of pools landward of baseline and erosion control device.
Use the form below to inform DHEC-OCRM of any such activity:
The following public notice submittal deadlines apply to all State and Federal permits and applications for funding assistance requiring a coastal zone consistency determination except for joint permit applications from both DHEC-OCRM and the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE). Joint permit applications requiring a Critical Area permit and a ACOE permit will be processed as a joint public notice. The joint public notice will be coordinated to run with the ACOE's public notice if the application is administratively complete. DHEC-OCRM must receive submittals for weekly public notice associated with a coastal zone consistency determination and Critical Area permits by Monday close of business. The submittal must be deemed complete for notice by staff to be considered for public notice the following Friday. Submittals received after Monday close of business are subject to being placed on public notice the following week even if the submittal is deemed complete by staff. If the permit application or funding assistance application is not complete, staff will notify the applicant of the deficiencies within 10 working days from the DHEC-OCRM receipt date.
Questions? Contact DHEC or check the Frequently Asked Questions for Beachfront Property.
Beach Survey Packets & Jurisdictional Line Maps
The DHEC Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management is mandated by the Beachfront Management Act (48-39-280-C) to review the position of the beachfront baseline and 40-year setback line, the state's beachfront jurisdictional lines, every 8 to 10 years. The follwoing areas have been updated for the 2008-2010 review cycle. Please note that each map file is approximately 4MB and download time may vary depending on connection speed.
State beachfront baseline and setback line surveyor packets and accompanying DWG files are also available for download. Beach survey packets contain beachfront baseline and setback line coordinates, long-term erosion rate information, and beach survey benchmark description sheets. DWG files are spatial representations of surveyed coordinates. Surveyor packet coordinates and DWG files are in South Carolina State Plane NAD83 – International Feet. Survey packets are in Adobe PDF format. DWG files can be viewed with most CAD and GIS software. IMPORTANT NOTE: DWG FILES SHOULD BE USED FOR REFERENCE ONLY. PLEASE REFER TO THE SURVEYED COORDINATE PACKETS FOR ABSOLUTE POSITION.
- The South Carolina Coastal Management Program, Regulations and Policies
- Frequently Asked Questions for Beachfront Property
- How to Build a Sand Dune (PDF)