New ordinance could further enforce sand dune protection more st - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New ordinance could further enforce sand dune protection more strictly

A proposed ordinance would implement more signs to keep beachgoers off sand dunes on Horry County beaches. (Source: WMBF News) A proposed ordinance would implement more signs to keep beachgoers off sand dunes on Horry County beaches. (Source: WMBF News)

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council has already passed the first reading of a new ordinance that would more strictly enforce sand dune protection on area beaches.

It is already a federal law to keep off dunes, but now, some Horry County leaders are pushing to enforce that law locally.

The penalty for tampering with sand dunes is up to $500 in fines or 30 days in jail.

In October, the sand dunes along the Grand Strand's coast were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.

Even though the dunes had been there for years and grown sturdy vegetation, they still weren't strong enough to withstand the hurricane.

Horry County recently built brand new dunes for the beaches. However, those are so fresh the vegetation hasn't had a chance to grow roots to strengthen them.

Furthermore, with it being the summertime, many beachgoers and vacationers have been seen tampering with the dunes.

The primary problem is when playful children try to climb the dunes to collect shells or slide back down, and this is quickly destroying them.

Linda Frizzell and her husband are Garden City residents and said they see this happen all the time.

"I have noticed a lot of people - well, kids - are climbing up the dunes, parents aren't correcting them to get them off the dunes. There are signs that are out but they're not all along the beach. But something should be done to protect them," Frizzell said.

Horry County Councilman Tyler Servant said he's working to get a new ordinance passed that would hopefully put an end to this problem.

"This already was against federal law, but this is going to allow our public safety officials locally to enforce that federal law," said Servant.

The new ordinance would implement more signage across the beach notifying beachgoers of the law.

Plus, local beach patrol would pay closer attention to dune protection and more strictly enforce the law.

The ordinance will need to pass two more readings before it goes into effect.

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