Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.
Constructed in Myrtle Beach, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Myrtle Beach native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.
Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:
The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.
To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Myrtle Beach's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.
With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Myrtle Beach.
You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.
Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Myrtle Beach, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:
Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.
Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.
On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.
When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.
At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Myrtle Beach, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.
At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.
When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.
Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.
If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.
10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.
From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Myrtle Beach, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.
Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.
The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.
Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.
The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.
When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.
If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - More than 200 people showed up to a pro-choice rally held in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday, organized by Grand Strand Action Together, a community nonprofit.The event was put on nearly a week after the Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, effectively allowing states to ban abortion if they so choose.“As a young woman, as a Latina w...
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - More than 200 people showed up to a pro-choice rally held in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday, organized by Grand Strand Action Together, a community nonprofit.
The event was put on nearly a week after the Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, effectively allowing states to ban abortion if they so choose.
“As a young woman, as a Latina woman, as someone who has been sexually assaulted, and as someone who has so many beautiful women in my family, I feel so passionate about the subject because of my love for these women and people that deserve equal treatment,” said Sissy Castillo.
South Carolina’s own abortion law went into effect on Monday, banning abortions when a heartbeat is detected - which is usually around 6 weeks.
“I’m worried about South Carolina for a lot of different reasons,” said Lorraine Woodward, of Grand Strand Action Together. “They are meeting July 7 again to take public testimony about the trigger law here in South Carolina. There’s already been talk that they are not going to include rape and incest in whatever law they decide to pass.”
There were a dozen people who took to the podium to share their thoughts with the crowd.
“I’m a little mad. I think all people who have uteruses should be mad right now because our country is trying to legislate it and we’re out here fighting for our right to a private decision,” said Jessica Lugo.
Wednesday’s rally didn’t just bring those who supported abortion, though. Some also came to voice their opinions against it as a small group of counter-protesters stood outside the rally with signs and messages.
“The baby in the womb is valuable because it’s human who is conceived. It was, by God, a gift given to the parents and so that’s why I’m here fighting for the innocent,” said Eric Johnson.
Other organizations against abortion also weighed in on Wednesday.
“The Supreme Court decision that came down actually makes this an argument that needs to be done at the state level,” said Dave Wilson, President of Palmetto Family Council. “To say that you disagree with the Supreme Court decision is to say that this should be handled in Washington, not the government that is closest to you.”
Grand Strand Action Together members say their next step is to head to Columbia to address lawmakers on July 7.
Those who are against abortion say they’ll continue to make their voices heard as well.
Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.
One of the last stretches of undeveloped seashore near Myrtle Beach will be protected now that an extended court battle has been resolved, conservationists say.The northern third of Waties Island, a sandy land formation in the shadow of the Grand Strand’s dense development, is expected to be purchased by the Open Space Institute, which will then deed the property to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.That’s according to the S.C. Environmental Law Project, a non-profit legal service representing a landowner who...
One of the last stretches of undeveloped seashore near Myrtle Beach will be protected now that an extended court battle has been resolved, conservationists say.
The northern third of Waties Island, a sandy land formation in the shadow of the Grand Strand’s dense development, is expected to be purchased by the Open Space Institute, which will then deed the property to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
That’s according to the S.C. Environmental Law Project, a non-profit legal service representing a landowner who has been trying for years to sell her portion of the 2.5-mile long island for protection.
“The impediment that has been standing in the way of permanent conservation is now clear,’’ said Amy Armstrong, director of the S.C. Environmental Law Project, referring to a lawsuit against the landowner that was dropped earlier this month.
Patrick Moore, an official with the Open Space Institute, said he could not comment.
The acquisition of the northern part of the island means the majority of Waties will be protected from development. The lower third of the roughly 400-acre island, including the oceanfront, has already been preserved. That area is owned by Coastal Carolina University’s educational foundation. The university conducts scientific research there.
That leaves only the middle of the island open for development. It is owned by Riverstone Properties of Virginia. An official with Riverstone told The State in 2001 that the company wanted to develop the property. But plans for development have never been fulfilled.
Waties Island, sometimes spelled Waites Island, is sandwiched between the densely developed Cherry Grove section of North Myrtle Beach and Little River, near the North Carolina state line. While barrier islands are plentiful south of Myrtle Beach, Waties is the only one entirely in Horry County on the northern coast. (Nearby Bird Island is mostly in North Carolina, but a sliver is in South Carolina).
Waties contains an array of wildlife, forests and high sand dunes, and is a popular spot for horseback riding on the beach. Unlike the beach at Cherry Grove just across a tidal inlet, the seashore at Waties Island does not have beach houses or condominium buildings.
“You go out there, you are in this pristine place,’’ Armstrong said. “It’s untouched. It looks now the same as it did 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago — it is a stark, stark difference from what is right on the other side of the inlet.’’
Olivia Boyce-Abel, who is selling the land for conservation, said she hopes the sale will have a domino effect that could trigger protection of the remainder of the island.
“I’m very relieved and excited that this (legal fight) has ended,’’ said Boyce-Abel, a member of the Tilghman family that owned Waties Island for years. “I’m excited for the future of the land and what it means for the preservation of the land for the people of South Carolina and for conservation.’’
She and Moore declined to disclose the sales price.
The legal dispute that has delayed protection of part of Waties Island has gone on for more than a year. Coastal Carolina University’s educational foundation had been at odds with Boyce-Abel over ownership of a portion of the property.
The foundation raised questions about the ownership of a patch of land that had been built up by the ocean’s currents along the waterfront.
The university has now dropped its legal claim to the accreted land, according to court documents.
Attorneys for the Coastal Educational Foundation and property owner Boyce-Abel agreed June 20 that the legal matter should be dismissed. Armstrong’s group represented Boyce-Able.
Officials with Coastal Carolina were not available Monday to explain why they had dropped the lawsuit.
Regardless of the reason, Norman Pulliam, who chairs the state Department of Natural Resources board, said saving Waties Island is important.
Waties Island has been under development pressure for years, said Pulliam, who remembers taking a small boat over from Cherry Grove to Waties Island long ago to enjoy the beach with his family.
“It’s fabulous property,’’ Pulliam said of Waties. But without protection “It will be developed.’’
This story was originally published June 28, 2022 5:55 AM.
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal grand jury in Florence returned a 10-count indictment alleging charges related to wildlife trafficking and money laundering against five individuals:According to the indictment and other court records, Antle is the owner and operator of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S), also known as the Myrtle Beach Safari. The Myrtle Beach Safari is a 50-acre wildlife tropical preserve in Myrtle Beach. Sawyer and Bybee are Antle’s employees and business associ...
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal grand jury in Florence returned a 10-count indictment alleging charges related to wildlife trafficking and money laundering against five individuals:
According to the indictment and other court records, Antle is the owner and operator of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S), also known as the Myrtle Beach Safari. The Myrtle Beach Safari is a 50-acre wildlife tropical preserve in Myrtle Beach. Sawyer and Bybee are Antle’s employees and business associates.
Sammut is the owner and operator of Vision Quest Ranch, a for-profit corporation that housed captive exotic species and sold tours and safari experiences to guests. Clay is the owner and operator of the Franklin Drive Thru Safari, a for-profit corporation that housed captive exotic species and sold tours and safari experiences to guests.
The indictment alleges that Antle, at various times along with Bybee, Sammut, and Clay, illegally trafficked wildlife in violation of federal law, including the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act, and made false records regarding that wildlife. The animals involved included lemurs, cheetahs, and a chimpanzee.
The indictment and a previously-filed federal complaint in the case also allege that over the last several months, Antle and Sawyer laundered more than $500,000 in cash they believed to be the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States. The filings allege that Antle had used bulk cash receipts to purchase animals for which he could not use checks, and that Antle planned to conceal the cash he received by inflating tourist numbers at the Myrtle Beach Safari.
Antle and Sawyer each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for the charges related to money laundering, and up to five years in federal prison for the charges related to wildlife trafficking. Bybee, Sammut, and Clay each face up to five years in federal prison for the charges related to the wildlife trafficking. Antle and Sawyer were previously granted a bond by a federal magistrate judge as a result of the charges in the federal complaint, and Bybee, Sammut, and Clay are pending arraignment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The prosecutors on the case are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek A. Shoemake and Amy Bower, with the District of South Carolina, and DOJ Senior Trial Attorney Patrick M. Duggan with DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section
U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Not everyone knows Myrtle Beach has an art museum, but many people can surely recognize Ringo.Ringo, a 10-foot octopus made out of wire and trash, sits in front of the art museum facing the ocean.Aside from Ringo, one could be forgiven for not noticing the art museum. The building is largely hidden behind massive live oak trees. The only sign that it might be more than just an old beach house is the steps leading up to its entrance, recently painted with a portrait of Frida Kahlo, in honor of ...
Not everyone knows Myrtle Beach has an art museum, but many people can surely recognize Ringo.
Ringo, a 10-foot octopus made out of wire and trash, sits in front of the art museum facing the ocean.
Aside from Ringo, one could be forgiven for not noticing the art museum. The building is largely hidden behind massive live oak trees. The only sign that it might be more than just an old beach house is the steps leading up to its entrance, recently painted with a portrait of Frida Kahlo, in honor of the museum’s current exhibition.
The museum’s lack of notoriety — as it marks its 25th anniversary — is one of the reasons its director, supporters and the city are considering moving it to the new Arts & Innovation District planned for downtown Myrtle Beach.
June, actually, marks a trio of milestones for the museum. Not only is it the museum’s silver anniversary and the opening of the “The World of Frida,” but the museum also just received grants totaling $75,000 to conduct a feasibility study for the potential move downtown.
“The arts are extremely important to a vibrant community. And when you look at look at the arts here, we’ve got pieces of it kind of scattered,” said Mike Mancuso, the executive director of the Waccamaw Community Foundation, which organized the grant funding. “And the idea of the Arts & Innovation District, it really is an attractive place for a lot of reasons.”
Her first directive? Get more people in the door, in any way possible.
“I drove up and I pulled into the parking lot of this building, and some kind of magic happened. I just thought it was such a charming setting and had such potential,” she said. “The committee that interviewed me said what they really wanted. They didn’t want an artist. They didn’t want an art historian. They wanted somebody to bring people into the building.”
So Goodwin eliminated paid admission in 2003. Given how many Myrtle Beach residents worked in lower-paying hospitality industry jobs and that the city marketed itself as an affordable destination, she saw charging admission as an unnecessary barrier.
It was a risky bet, cutting off such a prominent revenue stream, but the tactic worked. Within a year, visitation doubled, growing the museum’s revenue with it. Major donors appreciated the museum’s desire to expand access to the arts to everyone, sales at the gift shop grew 600%, and visitors dropped off more money in the donation box than they ever got from admissions.
“The average person doesn’t think of ‘Myrtle Beach’ and ‘art museum.’ You sort of have to find us,” said Goodwin, who came to South Carolina from Philadelphia, where she worked for the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. “And once you do, chances are you’ll come back.”
The museum also focuses on finding intriguing exhibits that will stand out to locals and visitors — ones they will “talk about.” It has brought in art made from Legos; an exhibit inspired by John James Audubon, the famed nature painter; and a showcase that was all about foods of the South.
“We wanted to bring the people in that knew about Frida Kahlo, and we also wanted to educate about Frida Kahlo,” Goodwin said of the current exhibit. “We wanted them to learn about Frida, but we also want them to learn about the art, the artists that were inspired by Frida and the work that they’re putting on the wall.”
The museum has seen the benefits of these moves grow ever since. When she first took the job, Goodwin said the museum budget was about $200,000. Now it’s nearly quadrupled to $750,000.
“I firmly believe that an art museum completes a city,” she said. “I think you really can’t have a growing city and a city that is saying, ‘Come on, live here, be part of this, we have jobs for you.’ I think you can’t really do that if you don’t have culture. The art museum, the symphony, the Master Chorale, I think we all complete the Myrtle Beach experience.”
As growing admissions and donations brought in more money, Goodwin sought to expand the art educational opportunities the museum offered.
The museum started out with a single art program in partnership with Chapin Memorial Library. That quickly grew to Saturday kids arts programs that expanded from classes for 5- to 7-year-olds all the way up to teenagers. Staff even added a “Mommy and Me” class so young kids could come in and learn art with their parents. In 2018, the museum also opened up a pottery studio on its ground floor, which has been successful in attracting attendees ever since.
Goodwin also worked to bring more art out into the local community, rather than expecting people to always come to the museum. Every month, museum instructors go to libraries across Georgetown and Horry counties. They also visit up to a dozen day cares a month. And any time they are teaching a class with a new book, they leave a copy for the students to use in the future.
“We reach a lot of children, and I don’t think your average person who’s thinking about becoming an art museum member really may understand that” is what their donations support, Goodwin said.
Outreach involves Myrtle Beach’s marginalized communities, too. On June 25, the museum hosted an event in partnership with Pride Myrtle Beach to bring LGBTQ+ people together during Pride Month and teach them about Kahlo, a queer icon to much of the artistic community.
The art museum goes beyond just teaching art. It puts the art of those same students on display. For 22 years now, area high school students have submitted their work to be featured in the galleries.
In its current location, the Myrtle Beach Art Museum isn’t just hidden. The building it resides in has limitations: space, for one, but a century of aging is starting to show.
A textile mogul built Springmaid Villa nearly 100 years ago in 1924, 8 miles north of its current location. The building was slated for demolition in the 1970s, but a campaign to save it won control, pending the entire building be moved elsewhere, according to the museum’s website.
A three-day effort by the city and Springmaid’s supporters brought the mansion to its new home on South Ocean Boulevard. But a half-century later, the building’s white-painted exterior is cracking and the twin staircases that lead up to its original entrance facing the ocean are both unusable. Caution tape blocks visitors from setting foot on them.
Inside the building, visitors could never tell how old it is. The place is pristine, and every inch of space is used with precision. “The World of Frida” exhibit includes 114 works of art by 94 artists, a feat that would seem impossible looking at the building from the outside.
Using every inch of space, however, means there’s little room to grow. While nothing is set in stone, Goodwin said more space would be one of the many benefits of moving the museum to downtown.
“We’re (not) just jumping into anything,” Goodwin said. “But we are very interested in the process. We could have more gallery space, more office space, more classroom space, more storage space. We can have a small restaurant. We can have a larger shop. All of these things will contribute to just a more exciting art museum experience, and we’ll be right downtown in the heart of things.”
Being downtown would also help the museum build a stronger connection to the Myrtle Beach community and its visitors. Right now, the museum isn’t walking distance from much, save for a few hotels and an RV park.
In downtown, the museum would be where the people are. Offering free admission, it could easily get foot traffic from visitors who are already downtown to see the sights.
“As a fairly new local, I wasn’t made aware of it until some of this started to come come together. I didn’t even know where the art museum was, and then to find that gem right there on the beach was just phenomenal,” Mancuso said. “We just need to do a better job of telling folks where this is and what it is.”
At the same time, the Springmaid Villa’s close quarters give off a particularly welcoming feel, Goodwin notes. The building isn’t intimidating like walking into The Met in New York City.
“I know big museums. And as wonderful as they are, they can be a tad intimidating ,” Goodwin said. “But most people, no matter what age, they walk in here and there’s a comfort level. And I think if that’s your first art museum experience, I think you carry that for the rest of your life.”
And if the museum moves, what happens to Ringo?
“Way back when, the city expressed interest in it,” Goodwin said. Maybe Ringo will move downtown, too.
Oh, and why does Ringo exist, one might ask? He was built several years ago as part of a 2019 exhibit showcasing works from trash that otherwise would have gone into the ocean ... and the Horry County Solid Waste Authority paid for him.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) held a hybrid virtual and in-person public hearing Thursday night about the proposed Edge Road Mine.Soilutions, LLC requested permits from DHEC for a 33-acre site on Edge Road in Horry County to mine sand and clay. The site is about 5.5 miles southwest of Wampee.A proposed plan to restore the site to a pond and grasslands after mining ended was submitted with the mine operating permit application.People from t...
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) held a hybrid virtual and in-person public hearing Thursday night about the proposed Edge Road Mine.
Soilutions, LLC requested permits from DHEC for a 33-acre site on Edge Road in Horry County to mine sand and clay. The site is about 5.5 miles southwest of Wampee.
A proposed plan to restore the site to a pond and grasslands after mining ended was submitted with the mine operating permit application.
People from the community spoke for and against the proposed mine. Most of the community members were concerned about the impact the mine could have on the environment.
Cara Schildtknecht, a Waccamaw Riverkeeper of the Winyah Rivers Alliance said one of her biggest concerns with the proposed mine is how it will impact water.
“Our concerns are around protecting water quality and protecting water quantity,” Schildtknecht said.
She said mines are not good for flood mitigation.
“I don’t know where the water’s going to go when the ponds are already full of water and we’ve removed the soils and the sand thats actually really great for absorbing those flood waters,” she said. “So its not really a good flood mitigation plan to have mines reclaimed, it just doesn’t work.”
Schildtknecht said swamps in the area would also not be able to handle the mine.
“Our swamps are becoming over burdened and it’s not going to last forever,” she said. “The swamps can’t keep doing what they’re doing as we impact them time, and time and time again.”
Another concern was the impact the mine could have on the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve.
Trapper Fowler, North Coast Project Manager for Coastal Conservation League, said the mine could have permanent effects on the plants and animals there.
“Mining 50 feet in depth and 23 acres in size will impact LOB for not months, but years and possibly forever,” Fowler said.
He said one concern includes the mine’s potential to drain Carolina Bays and Wetlands on the preserve and diminishing habitats for endangered and rare species.
“Lewis Ocean Bay is globally significant in that it’s one of two areas in the world where you can find Venus flytraps growing naturally,” he said. “Venus flytraps depend on specific moisture levels and we can’t afford to lose South Carolina’s population.”
He also said the noise from the mine would disrupt animals and people.
“Predators need stillness in the woods to be able to hunt their prey, mates need to be able to hear each others calls during breeding season, mating season, and as a hunter myself, I can tell you right now I’d be extremely upset if I put the time and the effort to research and put in a tree stand only to find the racket and banging and clanging of heavy equipment and dump trucks the morning of my hunt,” he said.
Fowler also said if the wetlands are dried out it would increase the risks of fires and limit the ability to do controlled burns that many plants depend on.
Korbin Causey, a resident of Myrtle Beach, said the mine could be good for the real estate market and the economy.
“This mine has the ability to be a natural resource to not only help slow inflation, support another small local business that keeps money in your city, and keep the mark up on new construction homes down,” Causey said.
He said this is something that he thinks most people have not thought about. He said when people pay more to have materials brought to them it will make their houses cost more.
“With everyone complaining about the inflation and cost of living I actually kind of find it kind of perplexing that everyone here wouldn’t want to utilize a natural, local resource to keep the cost of construction down to slow inflation,” he said.
DHEC did not make any decisions about the mine at Thursday’s meeting. They also did not announce when the decisions would be made.
DHEC is accepting public comments about the mine through July 15.