Right View of the Atlantic from the Hunting Island Lighthouse

Left View of the Atlantic from the Hunting Island Lighthouse  About South Carolina's Coastal Zone

     The backwater area has savannahs, marshes, swampy forests and coastal rivers that rise & fall with the tides. The outer part is made of three divisions:
  1) the Grand Strand - the arcuate of 60 miles of sandy beaches from the NC border to Winyah Bay
   2) the Santee Delta - 18 miles, runs from Winyah Bay to Bulls Island 
   3) Sea Island Complex - has Sea Islands and Barrier Islands. Sea Islands,
erosion remnant islands, are actually part of the continent but become surrounded by ocean after the last Ice Age ended (Ex. Kiawah, Hilton Head, Edisto, St. Helena, and Port Royal). Barrier Islands are deposited sand dunes from the Holocene Epoch (Ex. Edisto Beach, Hunting Island). 

What are Barrier Islands?

     Barrier Islands are narrow sandbar created beaches that are separated from the mainland, usually temporary, lasting from a few years to a few centuries. (Ex. Bull Island, Fripp Island, Hunting Island, etc.) South Carolina's barrier islands have the following characteristics:
  1) A dynamic beach system with offshore bars, pounding surf and shifting or eroding beaches
  2) A series of grassy dunes behind the beach
  3) Maritime forests with wetlands in the interiors
  4) Salt or tidal marshes on the lee side, facing the mainland

Erosion on Hunting Island

The Lagoon at Hunting Island

What are Other Shoreline Features on Depositional Beaches?

     Beaches are defined as deposits of sediment which run parallel to the shore. The southeast coastline of the U.S. is depositional shoreline (sandy beach) for the most part.

Other sandy beach features
  - lagoon - a long, shallow body of seawater isolated from the ocean.
  - spit- formed from deposits from the longshore current as it loses energy as it approaches a bay.
  - bay mouth bar - where a spit has closed off a bay by attaching to a headland

Links to Other Sights in the Coastal Zone of S.C.

Hunting Island State Park

ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge / SCMaps on the A.C.E. Basin

Coastal Discovery, the Museum on Hilton Head Island

NatureScene at Bulls Island

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Colleton State Park and Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

SCMaps on Charleston

SCMaps on Winyah Bay

Myrtle Beach State Park  / SCMaps on Myrtle Beach

Givhans Ferry State Park

Huntington Beach State Park

SCMaps on North Inlet

The Beach at Hunting Island

Local Sea Gull on Hunting Island Beach

Hunting Island's Lighthouse Shadow on the Maritime Forest Below

The Team Journal

     Come along with our web team on our visit to Hunting Island State Park.


S. Debebe-Kumssa, J. Grindrod, V. Lyles, N. Osmanski, and M. Poarch

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