PhotoRising seas are threatening South Carolina’s beaches … and coastal business owners know that if the shore goes under, so do they. But climate change has often been a taboo subject in South Carolina politics.

So when scientists predicted a one- to six-foot rise in sea level by 2100, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce took action. They launched a public education project to engage local business owners and the tourists who frequent their shops.

KNAPP: “The purpose of the whole beginning was to demonstrate to local units of government that it was okay to talk about sea level rise, it was okay to start planning for it, that the business community would understand it and encourage them to do it.”

That’s Frank Knapp, President and Co-founder of South Carolina’s Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

KNAPP: “It is not a partisan issue, it’s a factual issue. It’s a science issue, and people understand that we have to be ready for it.”

The Chamber’s public awareness campaign has led to the creation of local task forces that include business owners, local governments, and residents. Forming in communities up and down the South Carolina coast, these groups aim to find local solutions to the rising tide.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
S.C. Business Acting on Rising Seas
S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Small business owners in coastal states have a unique concern about climate change
Small Business Owners’ Views on Climate & Energy Policy Reform

Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...