2020 Grand Strand Stormwater Pond Management Conference

Did you know there are over 20,000 stormwater ponds in coastal South Carolina? For the Winyah Bay watershed, ponds are familiar sight in neighborhoods, commercial developments, and rural areas.  The 2020 Stormwater Pond Management Conference provided a forum to share the latest information, resources, and tools on pond management for the Grand Strand area.

Over 150 participants attended the 2020 Grand Strand Stormwater Pond Management Conference. Representatives of Homeowner’s Associations, individual pond owners, and pond management professionals came together with speakers, exhibitors, and local governments to learn and connect. The conference was organized and hosted by the North Inlet – Winyah Bay NERR, Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, Clemson Cooperative Extension, City of Myrtle Beach Stormwater, and Horry County and Georgetown County Stormwater Departments.





The keynote address was given by Dr. Erik Smith, Manager of the North Inlet – Winyah Bay NERR and Research Associate Professor in the Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences at the University of South Carolina. His talk, “It’s All Connected: The Role of Stormwater Ponds in Coastal South Carolina,” provided an overview of the function, prevalence, and impacts of ponds. Stormwater Ponds, also called “Wet Detention Basins”, are engineered structures built to control stormwater runoff and prevent flooding. Stormwater ponds are also important for improving water quality since stormwater transports nutrients, sediments, and other pollutants.

The conference also featured a session with authors of the Stormwater Ponds in Coastal South Carolina: State of Knowledge Report. They shared the latest research on hydrology, pollution/human health, ecology, and communication related to stormwater ponds. Throughout the day, participants heard from expert speakers on topics including shoreline vegetation, integrated weed management, wildlife habitat, pond inspections, upland management, and more!

A grey, cloudy day was a perfect backdrop for observing stormwater ponds in action. During the Pond Tour and Inspection Demonstration, participants observed pond features and learned what to look for when inspecting a pond. Shoreline buffers, erosion, wildlife, and inlet/outlet structures were all topics of discussion.

Besides informative presentations, the conference provided opportunities for networking and connecting with resources. Pond owners interacted with exhibitors from local pond management organizations and businesses and learned about the services they provide. Representatives from local municipalities were available to consult and provide guidance to pond owners. Click here for the complete list and contact information of exhibitors and organizations present at the conference.

The Stormwater Pond Management Conference was a great opportunity to learn, make connections, and gain skills. We all have a role in maintaining healthy ponds for healthy communities and protecting water resources. Thank you to all the participants, exhibitors, speakers, and partners who helped to bring this valuable event to the Grand Strand!