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Salt marsh sunset.

Coastal Economics Program

Through the work of the Coastal Economics Program Specialist, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium documents the market and non-market economic benefits that the state’s coastal and ocean resources provide so that economic costs and benefits of land use and marine planning decisions are better understood.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium tracks ocean economy trends in South Carolina using data produced by national and state agencies. However, not every piece of the ocean economy is captured in the available data. To supplement the available data, the Consortium conducts research to estimate additional economic benefits provided by ocean and coastal ecosystems.

By working with key researchers and stakeholders, important issues related to coastal economics are addressed and information is shared to foster sustainable coastal industries, aid in coastal management decision making, enhance the understanding of economic benefits provided by ocean and coastal resources, and strengthen the social and ecological well-being of South Carolina’s coastal communities.

Extension Specialist

Matt Gorstein

Assistant Director for Development and Extension

Recent Projects in Coastal Economics

A group of African Americans gathers around a table with meeting materials.

Gullah Geechee Seafood Trail

The Consortium developed a partnership with the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, an organization that promotes businesses owned by Gullah Geechee members in South Carolina, and supported the Chamber in the federal grants application process. Through this capacity building, the Chamber was awarded over $280,000 by the NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy Program to develop and establish a Gullah Geechee Seafood Trail.

​The Economic Benefits of South Carolina’s Beaches and Barrier Islands

This assessment was done to estimate ecosystem service benefits provided by South Carolina’s beach and barrier island ecosystems. The benefits assessed include tourism/recreation, coastal protection, carbon storage, water quality enhancement, water supply enhancement, sea turtle habitat presence, and property value enhancement.

Waves washing up on a beach seen from above.
Waves at sunrise.

Assessing South Carolina’s Ocean Economy

This report is to provides an overview of South Carolina’s ocean economy based on available data; expands upon information provided by NOAA to examine other market and non-market economic benefits derived from coastal and ocean resources; identifies ocean economy sectors for potential future growth; and discusses how natural resource health provides a foundation for economic activities along South Carolina’s coast.

Socioeconomic Evaluation of Stormwater Control Measures

Clemson researchers funded by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium conducted an ecosystem service valuation study to examine the costs and benefits of low impact development stormwater control measures. This was accomplished through surveys of residents and by analyzing property value data.

Stormwater street drain.

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