DNR plans for keeping SC waterways safer - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

DNR plans for keeping SC waterways safer

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Whether you own a boat, live near the water, or hit the water for recreational purposes, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, wants your feedback.

Last year, there were 485,000 registered boats in South Carolina, according to DNR, a number which is on the rise. More boats means the likelihood of more accidents, which is what the organization is seeing.

DNR's Lt. Kim Leverich said deaths on the water are too common in South Carolina. In fact, Horry County is the highest for these alarming statistics.

Lt. Leverich says, since boating regulations haven’t been altered in nearly two decades, DNR is considering changes, to help cut down the number of fatalities.

With that being said, the organization is hosting a series of open meetings for your input. It asks you show up to voice your ideas and concerns about boating laws.

From your feedback, DNR will decide where, and if, it wants changes. This is all to keep you and your family safer on South Carolina waterways.

DNR will hand out surveys at the meeting, for those who choose to not publicly speak.

The first meeting was held last week, and DNR says it was a success. They found out most people want a greater presence of officers in certain areas, and more education offered.

DNR wants to remind you, they already offer free boating classes, but, because of this feedback, once a week, through Labor Day, DNR will be offering free boating safety tips on Facebook. This is their fast way of addressing issues.

The long-term goal behind these meetings is to prepare for potential regulation changes, and ultimately bring the death toll to zero.

Thursday is the second meeting held by DNR, and the only one taking place in Horry County. These boating safety public meetings are being held around the state:

* Aug. 6 - Horry Georgetown Technical College - Auditorium - 2050 East Hwy 501, Conway

* Aug. 11 - Fort Johnson Marine Center - Auditorium - 217 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston

* Aug. 13 - Crowders Creek Elementary School - Auditorium - 5515 Charlotte Hwy, Clover

* Aug. 25 - DNR Clemson Office - Auditorium - 311 Natural Resources Dr., Clemson

* Sept. 8 - Center for Advance Technical Studies - Auditorium - 916 Mount Vernon Church Rd., Chapin

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