Stormwater Study Focuses on Grand Strand Beaches

Along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, there are unique estuarine “swashes” (altered tidal creeks) that run parallel to the beach and transport and filter stormwater and groundwater before dropping this wastewater into the ocean.

The North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and a team of experts are the first to study the effectiveness of this system. The research shows that existing swashes are effective at treating stormwater and should be maintained, but also indicates the need for nutrient reduction by controlling runoff volume into the swashes, such as enhancing infiltration into the soil. Reducing the volume of stormwater, rather than designing for nutrient reduction, can also be less costly. Local decision-makers and coastal managers are using these results to design future drainage projects. (2016)

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Partners: North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Town of Surfside Beach, City of Myrtle Beach, City of North Myrtle Beach, Horry County, Office for Coastal Management