Skip to content

DHEC has a new number for appointments at local health departments.
Please call 1-855-4-SCDHEC (1-855-472-3432).

Why does DHEC establish beachfront jurisdictional lines?


View public notice for more information - (PDF)


South Carolina Code of Laws §48-39-280, as amended, requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to establish and periodically review the position of the two lines of beachfront jurisdiction (the baseline and the setback line) once every seven to ten years. The average annual erosion rate for all oceanfront land that is developed or potentially could be developed is also reviewed during this timeframe. DHEC utilizes the best available scientific and historical data in the implementation of this process.

The purpose of the jurisdictional lines is to implement laws and regulations that support the state's beachfront management goals and to guide development away from vulnerable beachfront shorelines. A 2016 amendment of the Beachfront Management Act prohibits the baseline from moving seaward from its position on December 31, 2017.

Proposed Jurisdictional Lines Public Comment Period

A 30-day public comment period for the Proposed Beachfront Jurisdictional Lines (the "current proposal") commenced on October 6, 2017. Based on comments received from landowners, community leaders, the conservation community, and others during this initial 30-day public comment period, DHEC is extending the comment period until April 6, 2018.

Because of this extension, DHEC will begin to adopt final revised beachfront jurisdictional lines in May 2018 with all final revised lines published by December 31, 2018. Existing jurisdictional lines will remain in place until final revised lines are adopted.

During the public comment period, the general public is invited to view the proposed jurisdictional lines and accompanying Line Reports, which describe how the proposed line positions were established on each beach. This information is available for review through the S.C. Beachfront Jurisdiction Viewer web application and by appointment in DHEC-OCRM offices in Beaufort, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Public comments may be submitted to DHEC through a link provided in the viewing application or in writing to DHEC-OCRM, Attn: Barbara Neale, 1362 McMillan Avenue, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29405.

In 2016, S.C. Code Laws §48-39-280 was amended to prohibit the baseline from moving seaward from its position on December 31, 2017. The Department’s decision to adopt revised lines after December 31 affects landowners who own property where the baseline was proposed to move seaward of the existing baseline under the Department’s current proposal.

If you are a landowner who owns property where the baseline was proposed to move seaward of the existing baseline, under the Department's current proposal, or if you are a landowner who contends other information may prove the baseline on your property should move seaward of the existing baseline, please contact the Department with contact information including current mailing address prior to December 4, 2017 to receive information and guidance on board review under S.C. Code Laws §44-1-60. Contact information may be provided via email to or phone at 843-953-0200. Note that the Department will attempt to proactively reach out to these property owners

What are beachfront jurisdictional lines and how are they set?

DHEC establishes two lines of beachfront jurisdiction - the baseline and the setback line. The baseline is the more seaward of the two jurisdictional lines, while the setback line is the landward line. To locate and establish the lines, DHEC utilizes the best available scientific and historical data, including state-of-the art LIDAR, GPS and aerial photography.

The lines do not create a “no-build” area. Repairs, reconstruction and new construction are allowed under certain conditions and with authorization by the department. DHEC staff is available to assist citizens in understanding the lines and the process.


Proposed Jurisdictional Line Reports