In response to the ongoing public health threat posed by COVID-19 and to mitigate the potential impact of the coronavirus Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-16 on March 30, ordering access restrictions for public beaches. The executive order also includes the closure of all public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, and boat landings providing public access on the state’s lakes, rivers, and waterways.
Any and all public beach access points including associated public parking lots or other public facilities, shall be closed to the public for the duration of the State of Emergency.
The governor’s executive order authorizes and instructs the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to provide any necessary supplemental guidance.
“ This Section does not apply to individuals possessing a current, valid commercial fishing license or permit to the extent such individuals may seek to utilize or rely upon public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, or boat landings in connection with commercial fishing activities,” the governor’s order reads.
The order does not impact the rights of private property owners living on beaches, lakes, rivers, or waterways in any way.