Murrells Inlet Environment and Marsh Ecology

Did you know that 90 percent of near-shore marine species use the saltmarsh at one time or another during their lifetime as a nursery, feeding or breeding ground, or as a place of refuge? The Inlet offers much, but respect is what it needs the most. It’s up to the residents and visitors who love it to ensure its protection. The creek is Murrells Inlet’s most precious resource. Preserving and protecting it is this community’s top goal.There are many ways we all can help keep the creek healthy:
  • Pick up trash.
  • Practice “Plus-One Boating” (What you take out, bring back – Plus One).
  • Don’t flip cigarettes into the water or onto the roadway.
  • Recycle your oyster shells.
  • Limit boat wakes because they cause erosion.
  • Avoid running boats into the marsh grass.
  • Use only non-toxic or “phosphate-free” cleaners.
  • Avoid fuel and oil spills into the water.
  • Scoop after your pets. Their waste gets into the creek through storm water runoff and is one of the largest pollutants of the creek.
  • Dispose of used fishing line in a monofilament recycling bin, located at area marinas and boat landings. Keep our pelicans and marine life tangle-free.
  • Educate children.CLICK HERE for a Murrells Inlet activity book for kids.
  • Landscape using green buffers to stop fertilizer and pet waste runoff.


litter0crabbyAs We Say in the Inlet, Litter Makes Us Crabby!

Area residents and businesses volunteer to help preserve the water quality of the creek and clean up the environment through organized group efforts. Land and water litter clean-ups are conducted regularly. A group of community volunteers staff the inlet water quality monitoring program. Committees help educate the public about the delicate balance of the wetlands ecosystem.

The local Civic Association works with businesses and agencies to ensure that the architectural vision of the fishing village is maintained in new construction. County government enforces stormwater drainage plans implemented to protect the creek. We are an involved community dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of our surroundings for future generations to enjoy.

Spring Tide Clean-Up

2018 marks the 27th annual Spring Tide in Murrells Inlet. Spring Tide, South Carolina’s biggest and longest-running one-day community cleanup, has rid the Inlet saltmarsh and roadsides of literally hundreds of tons of debris while bringing the community closer together in appreciation and care of the local environment. Spring Tide, coined “the festival where everybody works,” was founded by Chip Smith and a group of like-minded friends in 1992. During that first year, some 600 volunteers hauled away 70-140 tons of debris, much of it left by Hurricane Hugo.

Spring Tide is a community effort from start to finish: from the volunteers who provide and crew watercraft, pick up along the streets, unload boats and trucks, help out at the headquarters, provide and drive pickup trucks; to the companies who provide dump-boxes and soft drinks and canoes; to the restaurants that cook the chowder; to the impressive lineup of local top-drawer entertainers who volunteer their afternoon for the Inlet; to the team of cooks who prepare the barbecue;  to the Hot Fish Club which provides the venue and Georgetown County which provides equipment and allows us to use the landing and park and Keep America Beautiful’s Georgetown office who donate the trash bags. It’s all a labor of love for the creek!

Golden Oyster Award

Are you or your business a steward of the inlet environment?

CLICK HERE to download The Golden Oyster Award application

Report a Pollutant Problem

Murrells Inlet 2020 and the Murrells Inlet community cares about our Inlet water quality.  We are now developing a Watershed-Based Plan for the Inlet.  One of the goals of the plan is to address contaminants that cause our shellfish beds to close.  Are you aware of any potential causes of pollution in our watershed?  CLICK HERE to log your concerns in our online mapping tool.  The purpose of this tool is to capture the information.  To request action for an immediately problem, contact one of the following:

  • To report a problem, such as a sewage leak, or illicit discharge, contact Georgetown County Water & Sewer at 843-546-8408 or Grand Strand Water & Sewer at 843-443-8200.
  • To report a large gasoline or sewage spill in a navigable waterway (marsh, ocean), contact the US Coast Guard Station Georgetown at 843-546-2742.
  • To report hazardous chemical spills, oil spills or fish kills, contact SC DHEC Emergency Response at 1-888-481-0125.
  • To contact Georgetown County Stormwater Department, call 843-545-3524.
  • To contact Horry County Stormwater Department, call 843-915-5160.

Recycling Information


Two area locations Murrells Inlet residents, visitors and businesses can recycle

Horry County, Murrells Inlet, McDowell Shortcut, off Highway 707 – (843) 651-2771

7 a.m to 7 p.m.
CLOSED Tuesday
Sunday 1p.m. – 7p.m.


  • Appliances, large (e.g., refrigerators, washers, dryers)
  • Batteries, lead-acid (car, truck, boat)
  • *Cans (aluminum, steel)
  • Cardboard
  • Cooking oil
  • Electronics, household (televisions, computers, computer monitors, printers and other electronic equipment)
  • *Glass bottles, jars and jugs (green, brown, clear)
  • Paper (magazines, newspaper and inserts)
  • Paperboard (e.g., cereal boxes, shoe boxes)
  • *Plastic bottles, jars and jugs (all types)
  • Scrap metal
  • Telephone books
  • Tires
  • Used motor oil, filters and bottles
  • Yard trimmings

*Cans, Glass and Plastic can all be recycled together

Georgetown County, Murrells Inlet, Wesley Road, off Highway 17 – (843) 651-0872

Monday – Friday 7a.m. – 6p.m.
Saturday 9a.m. – 6p.m.
Sunday 10a.m. – 3p.m.


  • Appliances, large (e.g., refrigerators, washers, dryers)
  • Batteries, lead-acid (car, truck, boat)
  • *Cans (aluminum, steel)
  • Cardboard
  • Cooking oil
  • **Glass (brown, green, clear)
  • Household electronics (televisions, computers, computer monitors, printers and other electronic equipment)
  • Magazines
  • Oil/gasoline mixtures
  • Paper (newspaper and inserts, mixed paper)
  • *Plastic bottles, jars and jugs
  • Scrap metal
  • Telephone books
  • Tires (NO rims)
  • Used motor oil, filters and bottles
  • Yard trimmings

*Cans & Plastic can be recycled together

**Glass recycle bins separated by color

Inlet Friendly Business Program


Murrells Inlet wants to educate and promote businesses within the 29576 zip code on how to keep our Inlet healthy.  When you complete the Inlet Friendly Business application Murrells Inlet 2020 will mail you a sticker for you to promote yourself to the public and your customers.  We will also promote your business through our weekly email blasts, our social media and our website.


2014 Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan

The Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan was made possible by a 319 grant funded by SC DHEC. The plan was developed by the Waccamaw Regional COG in partnership with Murrells Inlet 2020, Horry County Stormwater, Georgetown County Stormwater, Coastal Carolina University’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy and the Earthworks Group, Inc.

Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan Part A
Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan Part B
Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan Part C
Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan Part D