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SCDHEC Removes Beach Warnings From Website

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USERS NOW HAVE TO HUNT FOR “NO SWIM” ADVISORIES

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has scaled back polluted water warning labels from its online map of Palmetto State beaches – sparking outcry from local activists.

As recently as last week, SCDHEC’s map showed twenty-three beaches along the Grand Strand with “no swim” advisories in place due to elevated levels of bacteria in the water.

Now?  Not so much …

The advisories are no longer immediately viewable on the SCDHEC water quality website.  Instead, users are greeted with this message …

beach

Hmmmm …

The partial scrubbing of the site comes amid an ongoing battle between activists and tourism bureaucrats over the quality of the water along the Grand Strand (especially in Myrtle Beach, S.C.).  We addressed these concerns previously (here and here).

Myrtle Beach argues that it has dealt with the pollution issues via a new taxpayer-funded “Ocean Outfall” project – one subsidized by a fee increase on residents’ water bills.  Critics claim the project is a special interest boondoggle that does nothing but pump dirty water further out into the ocean.

“This system does nothing more than pump storm water with higher concentrated bacteria levels farther out to sea,” local activist David Hucks wrote in an email to his supporters earlier this month.

Problems with crime and pollution continue to dog the “Dirty Myrtle,” the heart of the Palmetto State’s “Redneck Riviera” and the key to its multi-billion dollar annual tourism industry.

Also problematic?  Local officials’ inability to shoot straight regarding both issues …

Anyway, we will continue to keep a close eye on the situation as the tourism season approaches.

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