COLUMBIA -- Tourism is now a $22.6 billion industry in South Carolina, representing a $1.4 billion increase over the previous year and a 50 percent increase since 2010, according to estimates by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.
A ban on land-based wind projects expired, but industry leaders say new onshore development isn’t a current priority.
CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council received an update from Jim Medlock of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on a project to pump sand on to the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach during their February 12th, meeting.
Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines will conduct a vulnerability assessment of a North Carolina coastal community touted as a premier beach vacation spot near important ecosystems and estuaries.
WEST PALM BEACH — Because of recent resignations and a no-show, the South Florida Water Management District board couldn't muster a quorum Thursday and didn't conduct any business requiring a vote.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The red tide that plagued the Treasure Coast during early fall is still causing havoc in the county, this time with tourism taxes.
FOLLY BEACH — The city will join a legal challenge that could disrupt efforts to build on property vulnerable to being washed over by the ocean between sand replacement projects.
The Trump administration on Friday cleared the way for seismic blasting in search of oil off Florida and much of the Atlantic coast for the first time in more than three decades.
MIAMI — A federal judge late Monday afternoon unexpectedly threw out the South Florida Water Management District's attempt to get out from under the court's oversight of Everglades restoration projects.
SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - The town council elected Friday to move forward in addressing sand issues on the beach strand.
BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – Brevard County residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on which projects should receive funding priority from the Indian River Lagoon half-cent sales tax at the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday.
Regulators say ports needs to do more if it’s going to disturb marine habitats as part of turning basin widening project
Key West voted late Tuesday to ban the sale of sunscreens containing certain chemicals linked to coral reef bleaching. The ban is set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Much of the damage in Topsail Beach, Mayor Howard Braxton Jr. said, was to the dunes, which nevertheless did their job of protecting homes and infrastructure from the storm.
There is little chance the Florida Senate will revisit a controversial state law that has impacted public access to some beach areas, according to top Republicans in the chamber.
Both Surf City and Topsail Beach plan to begin more than $10 million worth of post-Florence recovery projects beginning in March.
The past decade has not been good for Biscayne Bay: More than 25,000 acres of seagrass meadows have vanished as Miami boomed and climate change drove seas ever higher.
It was standing room only as an energized crowd of moms and mayors, storekeepers and biologists gave the Army Corps of Engineers an earful Tuesday. The Corps, which is in charge of Lake Okeechobee, is hosting a series of meetings around its watershed to listen to citizens about how it manages the third largest lake within the continental United States.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY (WWAY) — If you are a tourist or a resident in Brunswick County headed to a restaurant for a meal, you could soon pay 10 cents for every $20 bill.
Any number of studies will tell you — it’s a noisy sea out there, and there’s at least a couple decades of work to do something about it. The impact of sea noise was the subject of discussion Saturday at the Ritz Theatre following a screening of the documentary “Sonic Sea” as part of the 2019 Green Screen Film Festival.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said he opposes oil drilling off the Georgia coast and he's willing to "fight for that position," though he sees no immediate need to take action as the Trump administration prepares permits to allow testing off the East Coast.
It was just a few words in one sentence of Gov. Henry McMaster’s “State of the State” speech last month, but that single phrase has raised a lot of hopes — in turns out false — in the coastal city of Georgetown.
A beach nourishment project at DeBordieu that includes construction of three rock and concrete groins was approved by the state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management last week. Conservation groups and the Belle W. Baruch Foundation are considering challenges, as they did in 2011 when the state issued permits for a similar project.
A massive local beach restoration project is now officially over. City leaders gathered on the beach Wednesday to announce the monthslong project was finished. First it was Matthew and then Irma. Both hurricanes pounded Northeast Florida beaches leaving a mess in their wake.
Florida Sen. Debbie Mayfield has introduced a bill that would overhaul how state funding for beach preservation projects is decided.
The entire South Florida Water Management District board will be newly appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis by March, after three resignations late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officials increasingly want to move away from underground waste storage systems, which can leak chemicals that fuel toxic algal blooms. Nearly 2 in 5 Floridians rely on septic tanks instead of sewer systems. The waste disposal tanks could be doing serious harm to the state's fragile ecosystem. Replacing septic tanks would cost an estimated $3.3 billion for Miami-Dade County alone.
Businesses in the New Hanover County resort town still show the scars from the September hurricane
High in the baby-blue sky above Curry Hammock State Park in the Florida Keys, a very small merlin falcon with a very big attitude repeatedly attacked an osprey five times its size.
A South Florida developer is questioning the well-established facts of climate change, and is putting his money where his mouth is, investing millions to build residential projects in highly exposed Miami Beach.
Taking a bold opening shot at overhauling policy on the environment, Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the entire membership of the South Florida Water Management District governing board to resign. The largest of Florida’s five water management districts, the SFWMD covers 16 counties and 8.1 million residents from Orlando to the Florida Keys. The district is responsible for improving flood control, water supply and water quality, and it oversees efforts to restore the Florida Everglades, the largest environmental project in U.S. history.
The blue tarps that dotted the landscape from Carteret to Brunswick counties are disappearing, businesses are reopening, but as communities reliant on tourism prepare for the season ahead, they’re faced with the reality that the damage to local economies from Hurricane Florence is still unfolding.
CAROLINA BEACH - Hurricane Florence eroded the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. A project was already scheduled in the spring of 2019 to pump sand onto the beach front. The Army Corp of Engineers consider that erosion an emergency and that funding be secured to help mitigate the impacts of Florence.
A consultant used computer modeling to simulate hundreds of tropical storms or hurricanes and the flooding they would unleash upon Palm Beach.
When Tom Kimen decided to pay $175,000 for a two-bedroom house on the Miami River along NW 14th Street in 2000, his mother told him he was crazy. “For a long time, people thought of the river as a cesspool,” Kimen said. “I moved here before the dredging.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — There’s still time left for people with an interest in interstate fishing management to provide input to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council on a pair of proposed management changes.
Florida - With the regular session looming, state Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, and state Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, brought out a coastal management bill “to help keep Florida’s pristine beaches preserved by addressing erosion control and sand management” towards the end of last week.
The $12.7 million dredging project scheduled for Daufuskie Island this year will vacuum up underwater material on west side of the island and relocate it out to sea in an effort to maintain the Intracoastal Waterway, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) - Water protection and restoration projects, including the fight against red tide and the continued cleanup of the Everglades, will account for $625 million of a proposed budget that Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will roll out Friday for state lawmakers to consider.
The dispute comes down to whether a “wing wall” is a wing or a wall. Two bills in the S.C. Legislature — one in the House and one in the Senate — deal with restoring state permits for the devices, which beachfront owners claim are needed to protect their properties and conservationists fear would weaken the state’s ban against new sea walls.
A $20-million-plus effort to restore protective berms along Flagler County’s coastline, one of the longest and most multifaceted projects in the county’s history, entered its home stretch this month.
Last week the county sent 461 letters to residents in the 100-year floodplain regarding a notice of "substantial damage determination", requiring homeowners to comply with flood damage-resistant provisions. One resident voiced his concerns (and confusion) of the main stipulation: his house needed to be elevated two feet above the base flood elevation (BFE).
St. Augustine is trying to decide what to do to defend its wastewater treatment plant against flooding.
Oak Island Town Council agreed Tuesday to make a number of capital purchases, including some earlier than department heads had recommended. Council also instructed staff to move ahead with a months-long process of establishing municipal service districts in anticipation of funding a major beach renourishment effort.
Reports that President Donald Trump is considering “repurposing” $13.9 billion in funding for disaster relief and water-related projects to pay for the border wall has Florida hurricane victims concerned that federal aid packages could be diverted and state officials apprehensive that money earmarked for critical repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee could be siphoned off.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, was awarded an approx. $7.8 million modification to contract W912HP-18-C-0006 to increase cubic yards of beach fill work that will be performed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Limiting nutrient pollution into waterways is the best way to prevent toxic red tide and blue-green algae blooms, two state agencies told Florida lawmakers Wednesday. However, they didn't address the primary sources or suggest specific solutions, only said they're working on the issue with other state and federal agencies.
A bloom of seaweed that experts warn could mimic 2018′s record-breaking sargassum crop is sending a tangle of mats through the Florida Straits to Palm Beach County’s coast.
Check into a hotel anywhere in St. Johns County, and your charges will include a 4-percent tourism bed tax. The bed tax also applies to all short-term rentals booked through Airbnb and similar online platforms.
ByBy Colleen Jones
North Topsail Beach government officials have been busy organizing a myriad of projects to recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence. The barriers that have kept the town relatively safe during a hurricane and tropical storm late last year are essentially gone.
This might be a good year to re-establish an advocacy group to speak out on shared interests embraced by citizens and local governments within North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties.
To the relief of Hatteras Inlet mariners, the new year is starting with clear passage on the South Ferry Channel and pending dredge work at the breakwater in Hatteras village, resolving two stubborn problems and providing an upbeat backdrop for the changing of the guard at the first 2019 meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission on January 14.
The suit alleges the Army Corps of Engineers failed to conduct a vital study to examine the project’s potentially detrimental effects to Siesta Key
The Marine Corps says Camp Lejeune, N.C. needs $3.6 billion in repairs, as scientists warn climate change will lead to more big storms and affect military readiness.
The City of St. Augustine is collaborating with Flagler College to get input from the community ahead of an upcoming workshop on resilience, sea level rise and the future impact of flooding on historic places.
URBANA, Ill. - Every summer, a "dead zone" forms in the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes of oxygen-robbing algae, fed by excess nitrogen coming in from the Mississippi River, kill off marine life and threaten the livelihoods of those who fish the Gulf.
Conservationist Dana Beach years ago described how to keep development from mauling everything into a mess of sprawl. Don’t, he said, talk or write about merely “protecting land.” Instead, use words to conceptualize protecting “special places” in South Carolina.
This is whole new tone for a governor's office that told Floridians, basically, that we couldn't afford to both create jobs and protect the environment.
Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often ends up in people’s yards and homes. It’s a billion-dollar problem that climate change is making worse.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- The Ingram Dunes is one of the largest undeveloped areas in North Myrtle Beach and like much of Horry County it is at risk of being developed. However, some still believe there’s hope to save the iconic dunes from becoming another developed plot of land.
Red tide feeds off nutrients in the water, and the second greatest source of nutrients in Collier County is runoff from lawns and landscaping. (Agricultural uses is No. 1). There is a way that we can make a difference in how much nutrient reaches the Gulf of Mexico: strengthening and enforcing our fertilizer ordinances.
One year ago, 15-year-old Caroline Marks returned to her hometown Space Coast as the youngest surfer in history — female or male — to qualify for the pro championship surfing tour. She capped her visit by getting carried off the beach after winning the Florida Pro at Sebastian Inlet.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis used his opening week in office to underscore a campaign pledge to tackle Florida’s deepening environmental problems, with the former Navy lawyer saying he wanted the state on a “war footing.”
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — Wondering about the new posts along Myrtle Beach beaches? They're being installed to help trap windblown sand.
Florida thrives on beach tourism, which generates $55 billion a year in sales. But, a nationwide report from the non-profit, Surfrider Foundation, gave Florida a ‘D’ rating when it comes to protecting beaches from coastal erosion and climate change.
It’s news millions of Floridians have been waiting eight years to hear: Their governor plans to take the state’s water quality seriously and to back up those plans with serious money.
Septic tanks are one of the primary triggers for toxic algae blooms throughout the state, the Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee was told Wednesday.
An $18 million project to restore sand to 3.5 miles of beaches, from Port Canaveral's Jetty Park to south of Cocoa Beach Pier, is on pace to finish by the end of April, Port Canaveral officials said.
Within a generation, South Carolina’s coast could feature massive artificial reefs just offshore that would help slow down the biggest, most erosive waves headed toward its beaches.
King James I wasn’t much of a beachgoer. But if he ruled Florida the way he ruled England, Senate Bill 218 would already be law.
Florida's 800-plus miles of beaches are by far the state's top tourist attraction. They draw more visitors than all U.S. theme parks and national parks combined. More than 40 percent of tourists head to Florida for its beaches, and beach tourism brings in more than $55 billion in annual sales annually. So it's hard to overstate the importance of the sandy shores.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH — One by one they came, visitors and locals, down the long stretch of South Atlantic Avenue with the “NO EXIT TO MAINLAND” signs.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will join a federal lawsuit opposing the Trump administration’s plans to conduct offshore drilling tests, becoming the latest coastal state to take legal action against the proposal.
COLUMBIA, SC -- S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration to block seismic testing for oil and gas off the South Carolina coast.
With the final adoption of amendments to sandbag rules during the Coastal Resources Commission meeting in November, some difficulties should be eased for waterfront property owners and Division of Coastal Management staff.
Officials from Surf City, Division of Coastal Management respond to concerns that some beach homeowners have raised of the negative impact these structure could have on a beach dune system left heavily damaged and vulnerable after Florence.
Former Governor Charlie Crist’s “River of Grass” dream ended quietly last week when the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board terminated the state’s option on 153,209 acres of U.S. Sugar’s holdings. Without this action, the option agreement would have expired Oct. 11, 2020.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Tourists flocked to Indian River County in 2018 and the county has almost $3 million to show for it. Tourism taxes, commonly known as the bed tax or hotel tax, pumped $2.96 million into county coffers, up $300,000 — or about 11 percent — over 2017.
Preliminary work has begun on a project to dredge about 150,000 cubic yards of sand out of the Sebastian Inlet and spread most of it on Indian River County beaches.
Changes to state sand dune rules adopted in late 2018 and now awaiting final state approval would allow oceanfront land owners greater flexibility to relocate wind- and storm-driven sand on their property.
Elizabeth Boineau's 1939 Colonial sits a block and a half from the Ashley River in South Carolina in a sought-after neighborhood of ancient live oaks, charming gardens and historic homes. A year ago, she thought she could sell it for nearly $1.5 million. But after dropping the price 11 times, Boineau has decided to tear it down.
WWhen David Secor started his career at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory almost three decades ago, one of his first projects concluded that the Atlantic sturgeon had all but disappeared from polluted Maryland waters.
REDINGTON BEACH – A Redington Beach couple has sued the town alleging an ordinance approved in 2018 allowed the public to illegally use their beachfront property.
As Hurricane Florence was soaking the state (of North Carolina) in September, local creeks and rivers were swirling with germs, chemicals, sewage and other filth from sources that are usually stored safely and not a threat to public health.
Earlier this year, scientists were surprised to discover a huge forest of coldwater corals off the coast of South Carolina. A scientist aboard the expedition discusses the find.
The imperiled Crab Bank shorebird rookery has been saved, apparently, by a federal grant no one expected to win. But the coalition looking to restore the once vital shorebird rookery is cautious about making that claim for certain until more details become clear.
Florida and the First Coast experienced another year of record-breaking tourist visits in 2018, keeping pace with the last half-decade of record-setting visitation numbers.
Just off our shores, not much more than a good swim from the sand, you could, until recently, find the most majestic of creatures, on land or at sea. Scientists named it orbicella faveolata. But a dive boat captain would tell you to look for the mountainous star coral, a name befitting its stature.
There is a happy corner of the Internet today, and it is celebrating the first North Atlantic right whale calf sighting of the season. The news is a big deal, considering the fact that the North Atlantic right whale is critically endangered, its total population is only about 450 and not a single right whale calf was spotted last season.
Trees placed in areas where dunes were washed out collect sand over time to build up a natural dune. Meanwhile, approval for FEMA funding expected to drag on for months. Meanwhile, 106 days after Florence struck the state’s southeastern coast, town officials are still waiting for approval for beach recovery funding at the federal level.
Florida Rep. Randy Fine on Friday filed a bill for the upcoming state legislative session that provides $50 million in annual state matching funds for Indian River Lagoon rehabilitation projects.
Hurricane Florence's slow trot over North and South Carolina in September led to inundating rain, record storm surges, and another major disaster for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to contend with. Facing damage over hundreds of square miles, FEMA again called upon MIT Lincoln Laboratory to use their state-of-the-art lidar system to image the destruction in the region.
ByKylie Foy, MIT
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Miami Beach's answer to sea levels pushed higher and higher by climate change — raised roads — has been endorsed by international experts and scientists as the future of infrastructure in a warming world. But at home, the idea has split a tiny, tony neighborhood in two, with some residents developing an opposition homeowners group to battle what they call a "coup" from the original association.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis calls himself a “Teddy Roosevelt conservationist” and allies say he is genuine when he vows to make the environment a top priority of the incoming administration.
‘Extreme’ hurricanes, floods took their toll across our state as Charleston became ground zero for the threats of climate change
If a bill pre-filed this month by Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Little River, becomes law, each of South Carolina’s coastal counties would have the opportunity to hold a countywide referendum asking voters if they would approve a penny-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax to pay for beach renourishment. The money collected in each county would pay for renourishment projects there.