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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

S.C. Floodwater Commission: Artificial Reef Systems Task Force


Of a total boundary length of 824 miles, South Carolina’s coastline measures 187 miles. South Carolina’s “tidal shoreline” is 2876 miles. NOAA defines the tidal shoreline as including offshore islands, sounds, bays, rivers, and creeks to the head of tidewater or to a point where tidal waters narrow to a width of 100 feet.

The impacts of coastal flooding are substantial and growing given population growth and coastal development. Evidence shows that reefs serve as natural, low-crested, submerged breakwaters, which provide flood reduction benefits through wave breaking and wave energy attenuation. These processes are functions of reef depth and rugosity (seafloor geometry/roughness). The flood reduction benefits of reefs and other coastal habitats are predicted to be high and even cost effective in comparison to traditional approaches.

In June of 2018, the International Journal of Science and Nature published a study “The global flood protection savings provided by coral reefs” concluding that “Coral reefs can provide significant coastal protection benefits to people and property. The expected damages from flooding would double, and costs from frequent storms would triple without reefs. For 100-year storm events, flood damages would increase by 91% to $272 billion without reefs.”

Read more in the Full Mission Statement Document (PDF).

Next meeting:

None scheduled at this time

Past meetings:

February 5, 2019 Public Notice (PDF)