Monthly Archives: August 2017

DHEC in the News: Beach restoration, Lake Busbee’s future, Healthy Greenville grants

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Have thoughts on Hunting Island’s beach restoration plans? Here’s your chance to share

A major project to restore Hunting Island’s beaches shouldn’t move forward without including neighboring islands in the work, nearby property owners say.

South Carolina state park officials are poised to pump 1.2 million cubic yards onto Hunting Island beaches starting early next year and to build new barriers to keep sand in place. Because of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in October, the scope of work is almost double a previous proposal in early 2016.

Drain the swamp or keep Busbee? Officials ask for public’s assistance in determining lake’s future

Jessica Hunt slipped her toes into the murky water of Lake Busbee. On a breezy Sunday afternoon, the Myrtle Beach woman simply wanted to cool her feet before getting back on the road.

“I used to come here every day,” the 36-year-old said, adding that she lost 60 pounds exercising around the man-made lake. “It’s been here all my life. I love it.”

Like many locals, Hunt doesn’t want to see anything happen to Busbee, a popular spot for joggers, dog walkers and nature photographers on U.S. 501 near the Waccamaw River.

GHS awards $12.4M in grants to make our community healthier

Gateway House, Greenville County EMS, and seven other organizations across the region have been selected as the winners of the first Healthy Greenville 2036 grants.

Announced earlier this week by the Greenville Health Authority board of trustees, the nine winning grants amount to $12.4 million and provide funding for one to five years, according to a press release.

DHEC in the News: Healthy Greenville grant winners, land conservation, West Nile virus

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Healthy Greenville grant winners chosen

Greenville County EMS, Clemson University’s public health department and Gateway House are among the winners of the first Healthy Greenville 2036 grants.

Announced Tuesday by the Greenville Health Authority board of trustees, the nine winning grants total $12.4 million and provide funding for one to five years.

Charleston Harbor deepening funds finance 600-acre conservation deal

A conservation group has purchased about 600 acres near the east branch of the Cooper River through a preservation program tied to the Charleston Harbor deepening project.

The Lowcountry Land Trust bought Hyde Park Plantation for $3.525 million from Hyde Park Estates Inc., which had owned it since 1993.

The property is near the Francis Marion National Forest off S.C. Highway 402, between Huger and Cordesville in Berkeley County. It includes more than 100 acres of rice fields and almost 500 acres of woodlands, as well as a main residence, servant’s quarters and a guest house.

County battling West Nile Virus

UNION COUNTY — The people of Union County are being urged to take steps to protect themselves from the West Nile Virus after a Jonesville area resident was diagnosed with the disease.

According to the DHEC website ( West Nile Virus “is a disease transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds.”

DHEC in the News: Opioid summit, viral meningitis, beach restoration

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

S.C. governor schedules summit on opioid crisis

COLUMBIA – As part of the state’s response to issues related to prescription opioids and heroin in South Carolina, the 2017 S.C. Governor’s Opioid Summit will be held Sept. 6-7 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Sponsored by the S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, the summit will be a statewide response to the opioid epidemic, bringing together healthcare professionals, state and local agencies, concerned citizens and law enforcement to collaborate on solutions.

Student has viral meningitis says Union Co. Schools

UNION Co., S.C. (WSPA) – School officials say one Union County student has been diagnosed with viral meningitis.

Union County Schools confirmed the child attends Buffalo Elementary School.

Officials say the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has been notified and areas where the child was at school have been deep cleaned.

School officials say they were told that the school is safe for other children since it is not bacterial meningitis, which can cause serious complications and be deadly.

Meningitis is an inflammation of tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.

General Interest

Isle of Palms to dredge more than 75,000 dump trucks of sand to restore Wild Dunes beach

ISLE OF PALMS — Erosion-plagued Wild Dunes will get another shot of sand in the fall aimed at stabilizing a resort beach where a history of lost shoreline has included golf course damage and ocean water swirling under condos.

Officials hope the latest effort at restoring the shore will be underway in October and completed in a little more than two months.

WIC Honors National Farmers Market Week

DHEC’s Division of WIC Services joined markets across the country to celebrate National Farmers Market Week during the week of August 6-12.

As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer.

Markets benefit farmers and customers

According to statistics recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.

“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Farmers are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”

Providing access to fresh fruits and veggies

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC. The WIC Program provides supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age who are found to be at nutritional risk.

The WIC FMNP was established by Congress in 1992, to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers’ markets. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the program!

During summer months, select public health departments participate in the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The SC WIC FMNP has 249 authorized farmers.  DHEC and the S.C. Department of Agriculture encourage you to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. WIC participants receive checks that may be used for fresh produce at approved local farmers markets and farm stands. Participants also learn how to choose, store, and prepare fresh produce by attending nutrition education classes.  WIC Farmers’ Market checks may be used to purchase SC-grown, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

New recipes and farmers markets

Ready to try some delicious new recipes for your farmers market fresh fruits and vegetables?

Searching for a South Carolina farmers market?  Click here.

DHEC in the News: New EPA Region 4 Administrator, drug arrest, pregnant women’s vitamin D levels

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

EPA Announces Appointment of Trey Glenn to Region 4 Administrator

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the appointment of Trey Glenn of Alabama to become Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4).  Mr. Glenn will employ his 22 years of environmental and regulatory experience in leading the environmental protection efforts across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Conway Dentist Charged With Obtaining Drugs for Personal Use

Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — A Conway dentist has been arrested for violating drug distribution laws and obtaining drugs for his own personal use.

General Interest

Boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels may decrease risk of premature births: study 

Every day, more than 1,000 babies are born prematurely across North America. But new research suggests that many of those early deliveries could be avoided by boosting pregnant women’s vitamin D levels.

A new study from South Carolina involving more than 1,000 pregnant women found that up to 90 per cent of them had a vitamin D deficiency. The problem was especially pronounced among African-American and Hispanic women, researchers found.