Maps depicting likelihood of shore protection along the South Carolina coast

From a new article in Environmental Research Letters


A $2 million effort to map the likelihood of shore protection as sea level rises is summarized in a new article entitled "State and local governments plan for development of most land vulnerable to rising sea level along the U.S. Atlantic Coast." The maps divide coastal low lands into four categories: developed (shore protection almost certain), intermediate (shore protection likely), undeveloped (shore protection unlikely), and conservation (no shore protection).

Coastal cities such as Charleston, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach would almost certainly be protected--at least for the first meter or two of sea level rise. Shore protection has been authorized for the highly developed Grand Strand. Many of the developed barrier islands are privately owned with no public access and would be ineligible for federal funding, but the owners have spend their own money for beach nourishment on some of those islands. Inland from the ocean, there are large areas of conservation lands, especially between Charleston and the North Carolina border. Athough there are no immediate prospects for developing the large area of private lands, neither local zoning nor state law would prevent those areas from eventually becoming developed. For further details, see the sea level rise planning study by Matheny et al.

Example maps from this study can be downloaded individually as jpgs or pdfs by clicking on the links below; the entire set is available in a zipped file. The maps were designed for printing at 300 dots per inch on 11 X 17 inch paper.


The Whole Kitten Kaboodle

Download a zipped file with the 14 maps shown here and comparable county-specific jpgs and sub-county pdfs covering the rest of the state's coastal zone.

Statewide map (view online)
Summary Discussion

Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand

Horry County

The Mother Load of Maps

The MACGES web site has zipped files containing all of the maps produced by this study. Just tell us where to dump it!

Georgetown County

Berkeley County

Charleston County

Hilton Head
Beaufort County

Western Horry County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)

South Georgetown County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)

Eastern Charleston County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)

Central Charleston County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)

City of Charleston and vicinity (view online)

Northern Beaufort County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)

Central Beaufort County (fair jpg) (good pdf)

Southern Beaufort County
(fair jpg) (good pdf)