South Carolina's Flagship University

Regulatory Pathfinder
for Coastal Development in South Carolina

Beach Renourishment

Minor beach renourishment in South Carolina can often be authorized under a general permit: GP-90-F. A SC general permit application should be filled out to seek approval for such a proposed activity. A federal permit may be needed as well, however: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) requires any person, firm, or agency (including Federal, state, and local government agencies) planning any activities in either traditionally navigable waters, or planning to discharge (dump, place, or deposit) dredged or fill materials in waters of the United States (including wetlands) to first obtain a Corps permit. Likewise, permits, licenses, variances, or similar authorizations may also be required by other federal, state and local statutes. If, then, the renourishment might require work in navigable waters or will result in the deposition of materials into waters of the U.S., consultation with the Corps or other officials is in order. In most instances you can obtain both a federal and state permit through approval of just one Joint Application. Information regarding that application can be found here. From there you can access the application form itself.

If your proposed beach renourishment is not minor, a SC general permit will likely not insufficient. You should consider a traditional permit application, found here - consultation with the state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources is likely in order. For non-minor projects a federal permit will often be required as mentioned above.

These requirements may not apply to emergency orders by an appointed official of a county or municipality or of the state acting to protect the public health and safety. Such orders can often be undertaken without a permit when OCRM is notified in writing. Such emergency activities taking place in the beach/dune critical area but involving only sandbags, sand scraping or renourishment, or some combination thereof, may be allowed if they also meet rules found in 30-5(B) and 30-15(G).

Last Updated October 29, 2010


This project was supported through a generous grant from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. The principal investigator is Professor Kim Diana Connolly at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Two law students, Keith Bartlett and Valerie Cochran, provided invaluable work toward project completion. Technical assistance with web design was provided by USC School of Law webmaster Tobias Brasier. Broken links should be reported to lawweb@law.sc.edu. This website is NOT intended as legal advice, and particularized analysis by professionals should be sought wherever appropriate.