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Ocean waves at sunrise.

About Coastal South Carolina

South Carolina’s coast is one of the state’s most beautiful and valuable features.

This complex natural network of coastal uplands, near-shore islands, riverine watershed and waterways, beaches, and wetlands that constitute coastal South Carolina supports a wide range of ecosystem types and coastal and marine species.


Miles of Tidal Shoreline


Linear Miles of Beaches


Acres of Salt Marsh Habitat


Barrier and Sea Islands

The Three Coastal Regions

  1. The Grand Strand, a stretch of coast in Horry and Georgetown counties with few barrier and sea islands that includes the popular Myrtle Beach.
  2. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester county region, which includes the Charleston peninsula and outlying barrier and sea islands, and is a region of rapid economic growth and change.
  3. The Lowcountry, which includes Colleton, Beaufort, and Jasper counties, the majority of the state’s barrier and sea islands, and is known for its distinct culture and communities.
A map of South Carolina shows the coastal areas: the Grand Strand in the north of the state, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester in the middle, and the Lowcountry in the south.

Vibrant Coastal Communities

Coastal South Carolina also serves as the resource foundation for the needs of our growing and diversifying population.

The area is host to an increasing number of national and international visitors, a burgeoning marine transportation and shipping complex anchored by the Charleston Port, a multi-billion dollar and diverse recreation and tourism industry, commercial fishing and aquaculture businesses, a boom in manufacturing industries, and the resulting explosion in residential and commercial development.

The coastal population is expected to increase to over 2 million people by the year 2025. In addition, more than 20 million tourists visit coastal South Carolina each year.