Committee of experts, citizens tackle ocean water quality - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Committee of experts, citizens tackle ocean water quality

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach spends millions every year in an effort to keep the ocean you use clean.

City officials say it's an important issue because stormwater leads to the city's biggest resource, and that's the ocean. People who live in Myrtle Beach also think it's an important issue to tackle.

"They should do everything they should and could to keep the ocean clean and to keep people coming down," said Phil Blackweld, who lives in Myrtle Beach.

It all starts with what's flowing into the city's street drains, and the Water Quality Stormwater committee is considering having stricter standards for handling stormwater. An idea on the table is to start putting up signs to let people know that what's put on the ground and in the drains could eventually end up swimming in the ocean with you.

Business owners won't be left out of the effort either. There will be a discussion on giving incentives so owners will be more mindful of what flows through the drains.

The subcommittee is comprised of city officials, Coastal Carolina University researchers, Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority officials, and citizens. Myrtle Beach taxpayers say it's good the city is looking at other options.

"Therefore it's like if you don't have your place clean, then you won't have anybody to come there," said Romeo Mack. "It's like keeping a clean house. Nobody wants to come to a dirty house. You have to have a clean house for people to come to."

These are just preliminary ideas that have been put on the table, and will be discussed by the subcommittee over several meetings, but some say in order to keep the 14 million visitors coming back to the beach every year, any idea is worth a try.

During the past decade, Myrtle Beach has spent more than $60 million on stormwater management improvements.

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