In addition to managing onshore coastal resources, DHEC is responsible for managing ocean resources within South Carolina's state waters which extend out to three (3) nautical miles offshore. State marine waters include critical habitats for commercially and recreationally important fisheries, as well as significant mineral and sand resources. Due to their proximity to land, state waters are also subject to a growing range of potential human activities including sand mining, submerged transmission cables and energy facilities. There is a need for cooperation between government agencies to clarify and coordinate ocean resource policies and improve and increase predictability in decisionmaking. In 2008, DHEC established an Ocean Planning Work Group to consider emerging ocean resource issues and develop a plan to guide future ocean research, data collection and mapping, and decision making.