Atlantic and Gulf Coasts Recreation Area Survey
NPS Logo


Undeveloped Seashore Areas of South Carolina (Vicinity Map) (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

Waiter Island
South Carolina

Location: At Little River Inlet, just below the North Carolina State line, offshore from mainland.
Accessibility: By boat only.
Description of Area: The island possesses a luxuriant natural growth on the back lands next to the marsh. In transition from the back lands to the ocean are medium dune formations held in a variety of patterns, sizes and forms by windswept trees and shrubs. Next to the beach the 6 to 8 feet high dunes are generally stabilized by grassy plants. The 3-mile beach is wide, gently sloping, and comparatively clean.
Present Use: The island appears to be completely undeveloped and unused except for occasional fishing parties.
Analysis: The area merits consideration as a possible seashore reserve to meet future needs.

Debidue Island
South Carolina

Location: Southeast of Myrtle Beach about 25 miles.
Accessibility: By road.
Description of Area: The island has a wide and appealing beach, a large variety of both plants and animals in the hinterland, and marshes which attract many waterfowl during the migratory season, and is easily accessible from a main tourist highway. It is about 5 miles in length with an average width of 3 miles and contains about 8,400 acres of land and marsh.
Present Use: All but 104 acres (owned by Bernard Baruch) is privately owned and used by Mrs. Anne Preston Emerson and her two grandsons, George W. Vanderbilt and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.
Analysis: It offers one of the few remaining opportunities in South Carolina for a public seashore recreation area with an excellent beach and interesting biological features.
Debidue Island

Kiawah Island
South Carolina

Location: Southeast of Charleston about 25 miles.
Accessibility: By road.
Description of Area: A 9-mile-long island with an average width of 1-1/2 miles and containing about 7,300 acres of land and marsh; it has an excellent beach and good vegetative cover. More than half of the island is covered with a mixed forest of live oak, loblolly pine, southern magnolia, and cabbage palmetto. The dunes rise to a height of 20 feet and are stable. The beach slopes gradually to the surf with varying widths of from 50 to 150 feet between high and low tides. It is easily accessible by road from Charleston, South Carolina.
Present Use: Title to the island is in the names of Eugenia M. Royal and A. C. Wingo, Trustees. The Kiawah Development Company (C. C. Royal, president, and wife, Eugenia M. Royal, secretary) purchased 110 acres on the island for development purposes, of which 70 acres have been subdivided.
Analysis: The area is being logged and developed for residential purposes. It would require quick action to save sufficient acreage for public recreation purposes. Five years ago it was unspoiled and very desirable but now the feasibility of its acquisition is questionable.

Kiawah Island

South Carolina

North Island

An island off the mainland, southeast of Georgetown and directly south of Debidue Island, which contains a 7-mile strand of good beach in front of dunes that reach heights of about 25 feet. It has a fine, deep tree cover near the beach composed of pine, oak, palm, magnolia and wax myrtle. It possesses the resources necessary for a public seashore recreation area to a greater degree than Debidue Island but is inaccessible and the building of a causeway or bridge to the island would be excessively costly. Debidue Island would be preferable to North Island as a public use area because it is more easily accessible.

Morris Island

Lying about 7 miles southeast of Charleston across the mouth of the harbor from Moultrieville, this area has a beach of 3-1/2 miles in extent. It is low and marshy with scattered clumps of trees in back of medium-sized dunes. The island is undeveloped but lacks road access. The advantage of this island is its proximity to a large population center. Because of its location and present value this island should be given consideration as a possible public seashore recreation area.

Fripp Island

This island is about 16 miles southeast of Beaufort, off the mainland, and adjacent to Hunting Island State Park. It has a little over 3 miles of firm, sandy beach. The forest area consists of pine, oak, and palmetto. The dunes are of medium height and stabilized. The area would serve in an excellent capacity as an overflow for the existing State park to the north as the demand increases. The island is inaccessible at the present but could be bridged from Hunting Island State Park.

Hilton Head

The largest of the islands off the coast of South Carolina is located east of Fluffton, in the mouth of the Broad River. It contains some cottage developments and portions of its inland areas have been cultivated. Signs of active logging and development are apparent on the island. At present, it has dense cover, a good, firm beach of about 11 miles extent, and a gently sloping foreshore. The island is accessible by ferry. It possesses good resources for public seashore recreation but the major portion of the island has been acquired for subdivision. Acquisition of the area for public use seems out of the question.

Hilton Head Island

<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 25-Jun-2007