Tag Archives: beach

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: 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.

DHEC in the News: S.C. Adopt-A-Stream Program, Swim Advisories, Opiods

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

Edisto group backs S.C. Adopt-A-Stream program

Edisto River conservationists are supporting recently announced efforts by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and Clemson, who said this month, they are partnering to form the South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream (or SCAAS) program.

S.C. DHEC and Clemson’s Center for Watershed Excellence said in a news release the program will closely mirror the Georgia Adopt-a-Stream program, on in which several volunteer organizations in South Carolina have already been utilizing to monitor and record water quality in the streams and rivers around the state.

Several Grand Strand beach access points under swim advisories for July 4th holiday

If you’re thinking about heading to the Grand Strand for the July 4th holiday, you may want to pay close attention if your plans include a visit to the beach.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reports several beach access points from Garden City to Atlantic Beach are currently impacted by long-term swimming advisories.

Impacted beach areas will have signs posted, discouraging swimming within 200 feet of either side of the sign.

South Carolina one of 10 states with lowest hospitalizations from opioid abuse

The opioid epidemic is sweeping hospitals across the country, but South Carolina hospitals have so far escaped the brunt of it, according to a report by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. 

At the end of 2014, the last year for which data is available, Maryland had about three times the number of opioid-related emergency room visits than South Carolina did. Maryland has struggled with heroin overdoses, a problem that exists in South Carolina to a lesser degree.

Be safe and have fun this Memorial Day, and all summer

By Adrianna Bradley

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean more families are heading outdoors to have fun in the sun. But don’t let the tranquil weather fool you. This time of year holds significant health and safety hazards, and DHEC wants to make sure your Memorial Day and summer plans are, above all, safe and fun.

Stay safe when swimming

Memorial weekend is traditionally the unofficial start of summer, which includes the openings of swimming pools and other outdoor water activities. It’s this time of year that many families from within and outside of South Carolina hit the roads to visit our state’s beautiful coastal beaches.ocean-water-quality--blog

Swimming in an ocean or pool is an excellent outdoor activity for the whole family and it’s important to make sure everyone is equipped with sunscreen.  The sun is fun when you protect yourself from harmful, burning ultraviolet (UV) rays. Practicing sun safety plays an important role in the prevention of skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before going outdoors. Reapply sunscreen if it wears off after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

Protect yourself from insect bites

Sunscreen isn’t all you should arm yourself with: Use an insect repellent containing SprayHands-Zika2Deet to protect your family from insects while outdoors.  The repellent is safe and, when used as directed, is the best way to protect against mosquito bites, ticks and other biting insects; children and pregnant women should protect themselves also.

Watch out for rip currents

It’s also important to be knowledgeable about rip currents or rip tides at the beach. Rip currents are responsible for many deaths on our nation’s beaches every year and can occur in any body of water that has breaking waves, not just the ocean. Currents at the beach can move to different locations along the coast and can be deadly both to swimmers and those in waist deep water where the rip current occurs. Be sure to check in with lifeguards, who can alert you to areas that have rip current potential.

Be aware of ocean life

While most jellyfish in South Carolina’s coastal waters carry a mild sting, it’s still important to avoid touching all jellyfish in the water or washed on the beach. Do not try to touch or pick them up. Many have tentacles that can discharge venom-filled stingers into your skin, causing a sting. Another marine creature showing up on our coast recently are Portuguese Man of War. Like jellyfish, these creatures also have stinging cells that are capable of stinging even after they are dead. Do not touch them. If you do get stung, rinse the affected area with vinegar or apply baking soda and then soak in warm water.

Small sharks are also common in shallow ocean water and typically do not pose a threat to humans.  Be sure not to swim near fishing piers as these areas tend to attract more sharks.

Below are some more tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy at the beach or pool:iStock_51595250_XXLARGE cute kids swim class

  • Always supervise children when in or around water.
  • Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing if it is hot outside. Stay cool with cool showers or baths. Seek medical care immediately if anyone has symptoms of heat-related illness, including a headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, and an elevated body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Your body loses fluids through sweat. Drink more water than usual — two to four cups of water every hour you are outside. Also, try to avoid alcohol intake to prevent dehydration.
  • Cover up. Clothing that covers your skin helps protect against UV rays. Be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Be aware of swim and water quality advisories and avoid swimming in those areas.
  • Do not enter the water with cuts, open sores or lesions; naturally-occurring bacteria in the water may cause infection.
  • Do not swim in or allow children to play in swashes of water or near storm water drainage pipes. These shallow pools are caused by runoff from paved surfaces and often contain much higher levels of bacteria and pollutants than the ocean. Permanent water quality advisories are indicated by signs in these areas.
  • Do not swim in the ocean during or immediately following rainfall. Heavy rain can wash bacteria and possibly harmful pollutants into the surf. To reduce the risk of illness, wait at least 12 hours after a heavy rain to resume swimming.

Be sure to check your local news and weather forecast for information on heat and beach advisories before planning any type of outdoor activities.

Cigarette Litter Reduction Pilot Study: Folly Beach

Is it possible to reduce cigarette litter along a stretch of beach by educating people about the perils of tossing butts on the ground and enhancing options for disposing of the waste?

That’s the question DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) tackled over the past year through a pilot project conducted along a short stretch of a South Carolina beach.

Monitoring cigarette litter at Folly Beach

The project began in 2015, when OCRM received a grant from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct a cigarette litter reduction pilot study on Folly Beach in Charleston County. The pilot strategy involved targeted education and enhancement of cigarette litter disposal options. Additionally, OCRM monitored cigarette litter on the beach both before and after the project began in order to estimate its impact.cigarettelitterfacts

In late 2015, the team began designing educational materials, including flyers and foldable beach ashtrays, to increase public awareness and encourage proper disposal of cigarette litter. These materials were distributed at businesses on Folly Beach from June through September 2016.

In January 2016, new cigarette receptacles were installed at 15 walkovers on Folly. Previously installed receptacles were often used for disposal of non-smoking-related litter, which resulted in the receptacles becoming clogged. The new receptacles, made of sturdy PVC material, included an opening just wide enough to fit a cigarette butt.

The results: A reduction in cigarette litter

Monitoring events were conducted in September 2015 before implementing the project strategy, and in September 2016 after implementation.

buttsinabucket

While there are a number of factors that influence the number of cigarette butts encountered on the beach on any given day, including tidal and weather conditions,  a comparison of the 2015 and 2016 post-Labor Day monitoring results shows that approximately 200 fewer cigarettes per person-hour were collected in 2016 than in 2015. In total, nearly 10,000 cigarette butts were removed from the 0.25-mile monitoring area over the course of this study. For more information on this pilot study, visit the project webpage.