Herald-Advocate News

Gov. Henry McMaster orders public access to all beaches closed

Public boat ramps and landings closed on all lakes, rivers and waterways

COLUMBIA  – Governor Henry McMaster today issued Executive Order 2020-16, which orders the closure of all public access points to the state’s beaches, as well as the closure of all public boat ramps, landings, and other access points on the state's lakes, rivers, and waterways.

“As a result of behavior observed this past weekend by the Department of Natural Resources and SLED, it has become necessary to close public access to our state’s beaches, and to close boat ramps and landings on our state’s lakes, rivers, and waterways,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “This is unfortunate for those who chose to responsibly follow the instructions of our public health officials, but it is a necessary action to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.”

The governor’s executive order authorizes and instructs the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, in consultation with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Attorney General’s office, 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.

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