Tag Archives: shellfish

DHEC in the News: Oysters recalled, Alzheimer’s, pollen

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

DHEC recalling Charleston County oysters harvested during sewage leak

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Health officials in South Carolina have ordered a recall of oysters harvested where a sewage spill occurred last month.

Black Americans are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s. Vernon Williams was one of the unlucky ones

Vernon Williams had begun to forget little things. He would begin driving, only to realize he couldn’t remember how to get to where he was going. Trips to the refrigerator ended in frustration. After church, people he had known for years greeted him. But he couldn’t recall their names.

“I just couldn’t remember exactly,” he said.

He wasn’t even thinking about Alzheimer’s disease then. Now, it’s his reality. Williams, 84, began to notice the early signs of the disease about two years ago.

General Interest
With pollen out in full force, Charleston allergy experts offer tips to mitigate your symptoms

That yellow film covering every conceivable outdoor surface signals two truths: Spring is right around the corner and pollen allergy sufferers are miserable.

It’s not just your imagination, there’s a lot of pollen out there. In fact, “the current pollen count is between the ‘high’ and ‘very high’ range,” according to a statement published Tuesday by Charleston Allergy and Asthma.

Three local allergists offer answers about the best allergy medicines, how genetics play a role in seasonal allergies and, perhaps most importantly, when we can expect all this pollen to disappear.

DHEC in the News: Hospital award, recreational shellfish season, opioids

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

GHS wins award for infection prevention

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three hospitals in the Greenville Health System have been awarded a South Carolina Certified Zero Harm Award by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

The SCHA says the award is given “in recognition of each facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.”

Recreational shellfish season opening delayed until October 15

The 2017-2018 season for recreational harvest of shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels and other bivalves) in coastal waters of South Carolina will open one-half hour before official sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 15. The recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2018, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.

The recreational season opening has been delayed for two weeks due to water quality impacts from Hurricane Irma.

General Interest

Mount Pleasant group gathers police, lieutenant governor to discuss how opioid crisis is ‘decimating’ area

MOUNT PLEASANT — The opioid drug epidemic is “decimating” the Lowcountry, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer told a group of about 300 people who met Monday morning to hear leaders address a drug crisis that President Donald Trump recently called a “national emergency.”

Sechler Named DHEC Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

By Mary-Kathryn Craft

Congratulations to Officer Dennis Sechler of the Shellfish Sanitation Program for being named DHEC’s 2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

LEODSechlerOfficer Sechler, who works in the Myrtle Beach Office in the Pee Dee Environmental Quality Control Region, accepted the award on Thursday from Director Catherine Heigel.

“He constantly helps other agencies and works tireless hours with new employees to instill the same values he believes in, which is a commitment to excellence as a public servant and in government,” explained his supervisor Mike Marshall. “But more than anything else, Officer Sechler is an unbelievably caring person with more character, honor, and integrity than most can wish for.”

A member of the Regional Emergency Response Team and the field training officer for the Shellfish Program, Officer Sechler exemplifies our agency’s core values of promoting teamwork and embracing service.

He assisted in developing the Shellfish Law Enforcement Training Curriculum for new Shellfish Law Enforcement Officers that complete the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. This includes both classroom and hands-on training for new officers.

The primary goal of our shellfish program is to ensure that shellfish and the areas from which they are harvested meet the health and environmental quality standards provided by federal guidelines and state regulations. The patrol activities conducted by our Shellfish Officers play an important role in helping the program meet its goals. These patrols are conducted on foot, by boat and on land vehicles.

In addition to his regular duties and conducting weekend, holiday and night-time patrols, Officer Sechler has assisted the S.C. Department of Natural Resources with fish and wildlife cases and the Coast Guard with removal of sunken vessels from waterways and marinas to ensure no pollution is released to harm the environment or public health.

Congratulations and thank you for your service, Officer Sechler!

Congrats to DHEC’s Newest Shellfish Officer

photo (25)

By Cassandra Harris

Today in South Carolina, approximately 578,000 acres of natural molluscan shellfish (oysters, clams, and mussels) areas are monitored by the state. Responsible for the stewardship of these grounds, our Shellfish Sanitation Program monitors and surveys these areas to assure that the shellfish are suitable for human consumption.

With public health and safety in mind, the primary goal of our shellfish program is to ensure that shellfish and the areas from which they are harvested meet the health and environmental quality standards provided by federal guidelines and state regulations. In addition, the program promotes water quality restoration of state waters designated for the harvest of shellfish.

The patrol activities conducted by our Shellfish Officers play an important role in helping the program meet its goals. These patrols are conducted on foot, by boat, and on land vehicles. When necessary, aircraft patrols are coordinated with S.C.  Department of Natural Resources.  In order to perform patrols, our officers must go through intensive training by the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. This training includes various classes, practical scenarios, firearms skills, and driver training to prepare graduates for their new careers.

We are proud to introduce the newest officer in our Shellfish Sanitation Program, Sydni Pope. Pope recently graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, where she completed a rigorous twelve week long course to become a certified Class 1 Law Enforcement Officer.

Congratulations to Syndi, and thank you to all of our Shellfish Officers for the work that you do every day.