GOVERNOR ORDERS CLOSURE OF ALL PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS POINTS AND MORE
PART OF THE GOVERNOR’S ORDER:
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of South Carolina and pursuant to the Constitution and Laws of this State and the powers conferred upon me therein, I hereby order and direct as follows: Section 1. Emergency Access Restrictions for Public Beaches and Waters To prepare for and respond to the actual, ongoing, and evolving public health threat posed by COVID-19 and to mitigate the potential impacts associated with the same, pursuant to the cited authorities and other applicable law, I hereby determine, order, and direct as follows:
A. The State of South Carolina must take additional proactive action and implement further extraordinary measures to prepare for and respond to the actual, ongoing, and evolving public health threat posed by COVID-19, minimize the resulting strain on healthcare providers, and otherwise respond to and mitigate the significant impacts associated with the same. In furtherance of the foregoing, and in view of the fact that individuals have continued to patronize the State’s beaches and access the State’s public waterways without heeding the instructions of public health officials or adhering to appropriate “social distancing” practices, further action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, security, and welfare of the people of the State of South Carolina.
B. I hereby order and direct that any and all public beach access points, to include any adjacent or associated public parking lots or other public facilities, shall be closed to public access for recreational purposes for the duration of the State of Emergency. Accordingly, I hereby suspend, in accordance with section 25-1-440 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and other applicable law, any existing regulations that conflict or are otherwise inconsistent with this Order or “if strict compliance with the provisions thereof would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency,” to include Regulation 30–11(D)(3) of the South Carolina Code of Regulations, which provides that DHEC “shall promote public access to the beaches of this state.” C. I hereby order and direct that any and all public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, and boat landings providing public access to the public waters of this State, to include any adjacent or associated public parking lots or other public facilities, shall be closed to public access for recreational purposes for the duration of the State of Emergency. Subject to any further clarification, guidance, rules, regulations, or restrictions issued or promulgated by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”), as authorized herein below, I further direct that the beaching or rafting of boats, whether on a sandbar, lakeshore, riverbank, or island, is prohibited for the duration of the State of Emergency. Vessels must remain underway at all times unless exigent circumstances exist. Anchoring to fish is allowed; however, rafting is prohibited under all circumstances. This Section does not apply to individuals possessing a current, valid commercial fishing license or permit to the extent such individuals may seek to utilize or rely upon public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, or boat landings in connection with commercial fishing activities.
TO READ THE ENTIRE ORDER, PLEASE CLICK HERE:Executive Order No. 2020-16 – Emergency Access Restrictions for Public Beaches & Waters Due to COVID-19 Pandemic