After several weeks of a joint investigation by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Beaufort Unit and the DHEC Shellfish Division, two individuals who were illegally harvesting and selling oysters in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area were apprehended.
On March 17, 10 bushels of adulterated oysters were seized from the scene, and 10 summons and 2 warnings were issued to the two individuals. This illegal trade puts the citizens at risk due to the health standards not being involved in the process.
DHEC works throughout the year to support healthy people living in healthy communities.
This includes teaming up with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for that agency’s S.C. Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) program during Trident United Way’s Day of Caring. SCORE collects oyster shells from 30 sites and then uses these oyster shells to create new oyster beds. In this way, DHEC and DNR work together to restore and enhance South Carolina’s coastal resources.
“This opportunity brings the community together from Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston counties to make a beneficial impact to our surrounding environment,” said Sean Briggs, Manager of DHEC’s Compliance and Enforcement Section of Ocean and Costal Resources Management. “By bagging these oyster shells and then later planting them into the environment, we’re contributing directly to the restoration of that environment.”
With an estimated over 300,000 bushels of shells consumed within South Carolina each year, Michael Hodges with DNR emphasized SCORE as a way of promoting conservation of the environment.
“The purpose of the program is to engage the public hands on restoration and foster environmental stewardship,” he said. “We’re always looking for new folks to come and volunteer with us. There are plenty of opportunities for the public to come help us create this new very valuable habitat.”
Oyster beds in the vicinity of the Stono River will reopen to harvesting Tuesday, state regulators said Monday.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control are reopening beds from Charleston Harbor south to the North Edisto River as of sunrise, after testing showed the waters were safe again. The beds were closed in late February after a town of Hollywood sewerline spilled at least 2.4 million gallons from Feb. 19 to Feb. 26, according to DHEC.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – The City of Columbia is working to combat hunger in the area and thanks to an app, everyone can get involved.
According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control, 1 in 8 adults go hungry and for children those odds are 1 in 6. The Columbia Food Policy Committee is working to change those numbers with the help of restaurants and volunteers.