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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

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The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Murrels Inlet, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Murrels Inlet, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Murrels Inlet, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Murrels Inlet, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Murrels Inlet, SC

Granite Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Silestone Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Murrels Inlet?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Murrels Inlet, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Murrels Inlet, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Murrels Inlet, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Murrels Inlet, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Murrels Inlet, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

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Latest News in Murrels Inlet, SC

Wonderland of Lights returns to Murrells Inlet MarshWalk with new features

Boasting eight restaurants and a vibrant live music scene in an idyllic setting along a natural saltwater estuary, it’s no surprise that folks come back to visit time and time again.But during the holidays a magical transformation takes place. Leaving a legacy: Lee's Inlet Kitchen celebrates 75 years in Murrells InletThe Ma...

Boasting eight restaurants and a vibrant live music scene in an idyllic setting along a natural saltwater estuary, it’s no surprise that folks come back to visit time and time again.

But during the holidays a magical transformation takes place.

Leaving a legacy: Lee's Inlet Kitchen celebrates 75 years in Murrells Inlet

The MarshWalk Wonderland of Lights features thousands of brilliant holiday lights, illuminated arches set to music, photo op areas, a 20-foot LED Christmas tree at the end of Veterans Pier – and that’s just scratching the surface.

This walk-through event is free and runs nightly from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31 from 5-11 p.m.

Prefer a more immersive, family fun experience? A Santa’s Village attraction and kids’ activities will be available on weekends (Fri.-Sun.) from Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, excluding Dec. 9. Hours are 5-9 p.m.

Black River park project's latest $6.4M injection could help revitalize Andrews

Last year, the event returned with a new and improved setup. Before that, the last Wonderland of Lights took place during the 2017 holiday season.

“We had a lot of people who were appreciative of us for bringing back the Wonderland of Lights last year,” said Christina Burzler of Brickyard Marketing, LLC and spokesperson for The MarshWalk Group.

Burzler said improvements for 2023 include additional lights on Veterans Pier and new placement for the photo op areas – a gingerbread house at the entrance of Neptune Bistro and Raw Bar, a candy cane arch at Creek Ratz, an ornament between Drunken Jack’s Restaurant & Lounge and Wahoo’s Fish House as well as the giant Santa at Bovine’s Restaurant.

Other MarshWalk restaurants include Dead Dog Saloon, The Claw House and Wicked Tuna.

As for the Santa’s Village attraction and kids’ activities, expect bounce houses, barrel cart train rides, vendors and artisans.

“We’re also adding a petting zoo this year. That’s a huge thing because people love the animals,” Burzler said, adding that holiday characters will be on rotation every weekend – The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and The Gingerbread Man.

County faces suit over Murrells Inlet water quality

Murrells Inlet residents gave notice to Georgetown County last week that they are ready to go to court to enforce compliance with federal regulations that require the county to improve water quality in the estuary.If that happens, it will be the first action in the state to challenge compliance with federal permits for “municipal separate storm sewer systems,” known as MS4s, according to Amy Armstrong, executive director and chief counsel of the S.C. Environmental Law Project, which is representing the citizens group Prese...

Murrells Inlet residents gave notice to Georgetown County last week that they are ready to go to court to enforce compliance with federal regulations that require the county to improve water quality in the estuary.

If that happens, it will be the first action in the state to challenge compliance with federal permits for “municipal separate storm sewer systems,” known as MS4s, according to Amy Armstrong, executive director and chief counsel of the S.C. Environmental Law Project, which is representing the citizens group Preserve Murrells Inlet and Murrells Inlet Seafood.

Georgetown County is one of 70 small MS4s in the state that operate under federal permits administered by the state. The Department of Health and Environmental Control notified the county last April that an audit of its MS4 program found deficiencies. That included the failure to show that it had implemented a 2014 plan to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the Murrells Inlet watershed.

“Georgetown County is not some sort of outlier. We’ve seen it in other places, but not as well documented,” Armstrong said.

The MS4 is part of the county’s stormwater management plan, which went into effect in 2007 under a federal mandate. In addition to issuing stormwater permits for development, the county was required to create a plan for bringing water bodies into compliance with water quality standards. Murrells Inlet was already on the list of waters that didn’t meet those standards because of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria found in shellfish.

“Community members have expressed their concerns to both the County and DHEC regarding the current state of the County’s stormwater program and the resulting effects on shellfish waters,” according to the notice sent to the county.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, citizens are able to bring suit after providing 60 days notice of violations.

County Administrator Anglea Christian said the county is reviewing the notice, but was unable to comment further.

The DHEC audit of the county MS4 program also found that it was lax in its permitting and enforcement, citing 10 violations at the site of the Sunnyside Village development in Murrells Inlet. Those included failing to enforce “best management practices” to reduce stormwater runoff as required by the MS4 permit.

The audit also noted that while the development permit for the project was issued in early October 2021, the first inspection didn’t occur until late January 2022. Monthly inspections are required under the MS4 permit.

Sunnyside Village was the focus of an “independent compliance audit” by Preserve Murrells Inlet that was sent to DHEC.

While the S.C. Environmental Law Project has been tracking other small MS4 permits for compliance, “we have a robust amount of documentation in Georgetown County,” Armstrong said.

That is all cited in the notice sent to the county.

“This is what we would be telling a federal court,” Armstrong said.

After the DHEC audit, the county acknowledged that it needed to improve its inspection and enforcement. As for reducing pollutants entering the inlet, the county said it had been conducting the required monitoring and would include data in future reports. In included an example of the data, which was compiled by a consultant in 2020.

The notice of intent states that the county’s 2023 MS4 report merely repeated its previous claims that it was doing monitoring.

“The County has not assessed or analyzed trends in the monitoring data, despite the fact that long-term data is available, nor has it prioritized the area targeted for BMP implementation or provided underlying rationale,” the notice says, referring to best management practices.

The federal permit requires the county to change its plan for managing the “total maximum daily load” of pollutants if it can’t show improvements in water quality.

“It is crucial that the county provide this data,” the notice states.

It also notes that a vegetated wetland that was built by the county with a federal grant and intended as a best management practice to filter pollutants from stormwater was never inspected or maintained.

The shortcomings in the county MS4 program and its reporting “is evidence that staffing levels are not sufficient,” the notice states. The county’s annual MS4 reports says there are six staff members who work with the stormwater program.

The report also says the county is implementing best management practices and that “indicates progress towards reducing the discharge of pollutants.”

The notice says the county hasn’t done anything to reduce the discharge of pollutants since 2017 and “these projects have long-since been abandoned.”

Providing notice before filing suit gives the county an opportunity to make changes, Armstrong said.

“We need to see some concrete evidence that there will be pretty substantial changes made,” she said.

Leon Rice, president of Preserve Murrells Inlet, isn’t optimistic.

“They’re not taking it seriously,” he said of the county MS4 program. “We’ve tried to talk to the county about trying to get them to do their duty.”

Rick Baumann, owner of Murrells Inlet Seafood, served on a stakeholders committee that was formed in 2005 to help draft the county stormwater management plan. He argued at the time that it needed a water quality monitoring component.

That was left out because officials feared a stormwater program that was too aggressive would be too expensive to operate and restrict the ability of people to build on their property.

“We’re going to get sued,” the chairman of the Planning Commission said at the time.

Baumann said he hasn’t seen any change in the county’s attitude toward water quality.

“They promised no further degradation,” he said, but didn’t want to compile the baseline data that would allow that to be measured. “Thirty percent of the inlet’s closed right now because of fecal coliform.”

“Our inlet’s precious,” Rice said. “This is kind of a last resort to get the county to do right.”

Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to gcsd.k12.sc.us. Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to georgetowncountysc.org. Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to townofpawleysisland.com. , .

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Murrells Inlet MarshWalk is getting new higher-density development? Here’s what we know

The MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet is one of the capstone properties of the Grand Strand area. Known for its relaxing waters and restaurants, the area’s scenic views offer an attractive place to live away from the hustle and bustle of up North in Myrtle Beach.Many Georgetown County residents raised objections when government officials presented plans for the area’s future that locals felt would upend the region’s tranquil nature.At an ...

The MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet is one of the capstone properties of the Grand Strand area. Known for its relaxing waters and restaurants, the area’s scenic views offer an attractive place to live away from the hustle and bustle of up North in Myrtle Beach.

Many Georgetown County residents raised objections when government officials presented plans for the area’s future that locals felt would upend the region’s tranquil nature.

At an April 18, 2024, Georgetown County Planning Commission meeting, a proposal for future use of much of the county’s land was met with opposition from attendees, and the commission ultimately asked that the plan be reworked.

Georgetown County Director of Planning and Code Enforcement Holly Richardson said the commission is changing the future land use proposal to address residents’ concerns — adding that many made it clear they don’t want the area to become like Myrtle Beach.

The question is, what does the future land use proposal mean for the MarshWalk? How will the area change when a future land use proposal is adopted? Here’s what we know.

The current proposal for future land use provides maps of areas suitable for additional development in Georgetown County. In the proposal, the areas most suited to further building are along the Waccamaw Neck, including Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, as well as Georgetown.

Richardson said the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown are best prepared because they already have the infrastructure—roads, water, and sewage—to support such additions. Indeed, the MarshWalk is within one of these suitable areas for development.

One project recommended for the US Highway 17 area includes a parking plan for Murrells Inlet and MarshWalk, but it also contains potential uses for the land itself. A map of the Murrells Inlet area within the future land use proposal shows that the MarshWalk area would be designated as a “Village Center,” with nearby plots of land designated as “Residential Mixed Use” and “Residential.”

The future land use proposal defines a village center as a small community that provides restaurants, retail, and other services, usually located near planned neighborhoods. The proposal also defines residential mixed-use as walkable single-family and attached housing with nearby low-impact commercial uses and residential as traditional neighborhoods.

Katrina Waugh with the Georgetown County Planning Commission said future land use and zoning are not the same, and future land use designations don’t have zoning attached to them. However, both village centers and residential mixed-use would allow for more units per acre than some of the areas surrounding the MarshWalk, making the area more densely developed.

Much of the area around and including MarshWalk is zoned as General Commercial, which Richardson said allows for about four units per acre of single-family homes or residential development. Parcels of land near MarshWalk are also zoned as General Residential, which currently allows as many as 16 units per acre.

The future land use proposal states that village center places would allow for 6-10 dwelling units per acre at a density of 1-3 stories tall, and residential mixed-use would allow for 4-8 dwelling units per acre 1-3 stories tall. Richardson said that areas designated as village centers could become more densely developed, but she added that residents objected to this part of the future land use plan.

“That’s something we anticipate to maybe have some tweaks or changes to when we present back,” she added.

Despite residents’ protests, some business owners along the MarshWalk are less concerned. Al Hitchcock owns Drunken Jack’s Restaurant & Lounge at 4031 Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet. Having operated the eatery for 45 years, Hitchcock has seen the area grow as once-vacationers became residents.

“They went from suitcases to UHauls,” he said.

He added that a land development plan is past due, but he believes the approved proposal won’t radically change the area.

“It’s a good thing we spread out,” Hitchcock added.

Ben Morse is the Retail and Leisure Reporter for The Sun News. Morse covers local business and Coastal Carolina University football and was awarded third place in the 2023 South Carolina Press Association News Contest for sports beat reporting and second place for sports video in the all-daily division. Morse previously worked for The Island Packet, covering local government. Morse graduated from American University in 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and economics and is originally from Prospect, Kentucky.

Comment period opens for Murrells Inlet dredging

A plan to dredge 16.5 miles of natural and man-made channels through Murrells Inlet is under review by federal and state agencies. It is also under scrutiny by environmental groups who question the project’s impact on the saltmarsh and oyster beds.Georgetown County is seeking permits to remove over 750,000 cubic yards of sediment from the channels to provide access to boats at all stages of the tide. The material would be disposed of in the ocean about four-tenths of a mile off Huntington Beach State Park.If approved, thi...

A plan to dredge 16.5 miles of natural and man-made channels through Murrells Inlet is under review by federal and state agencies. It is also under scrutiny by environmental groups who question the project’s impact on the saltmarsh and oyster beds.

Georgetown County is seeking permits to remove over 750,000 cubic yards of sediment from the channels to provide access to boats at all stages of the tide. The material would be disposed of in the ocean about four-tenths of a mile off Huntington Beach State Park.

If approved, this will be the first time placement of dredge spoils has been allowed in nearshore waters in South Carolina, according to GEL Engineering, which designed the project.

The project is estimated to cost $30 million to $35 million, said state Rep. Lee Hewitt, who has helped get $14.3 million in state funding for the project so far.

“If we don’t get the offshore spoils site, it could triple that cost,” Hewitt said. “It becomes a whole other project without that.”

GEL did additional studies over the last year after the Army Corps of Engineers raised concerns that the nearshore spoils could find their way back into the federal channel that it maintains. (The Corps is currently dredging that channel.)

“A lot of work, a lot of research has gone into it,” Hewitt said.

He said he was told the location of the spoils site, which covers just over 344 acres, will allow the silt to flow offshore and any sand to flow back onto the beach.

“It could end up with some additional sand on Huntington Beach,” Hewitt said.

Amy Armstrong, executive director of the S.C. Environmental Law Project, met last week with Hewitt and the project engineer. She said she isn’t sure how to evaluate claims about the nearshore spoils disposal.

“He said they’ve never done this in South Carolina,” she said.

What is established through past litigation, Armstrong said, is that dredging has to stay at least 10 feet away from the marsh and oyster beds. That is intended to prevent the marsh and reefs from collapsing, or “sloughing,” into the dredged channels.

The permit application states that 1.5 acres of marsh and .16 acres of oyster beds will be impacted by the project. To mitigate that loss, Hewitt noted, the permit calls for restoring marsh and oyster beds in other parts of Murrells Inlet rather than purchasing mitigation credits.

That could include “living shoreline” projects or thin-layer placement to help the marsh keep pace with rising sea levels, he said.

“We’re going to spend that money in Murrells Inlet where it can help the estuary,” he said.

But Armstrong said the best solution would be to keep the dredging away from the marsh and oyster beds.

“Some of these channels that will be dredged have never been dredged before,” she said. “I feel very comfortable saying that’s something we’re going to object to.”

While she understands that there is a public benefit to keeping waterways navigable, she noted that portions of the project call for dredging that only benefits the waterfront property owners.

“Some of these dead-end channels where you’re trying to create access at all stages of the tide, that doesn’t meet the test,” she said. “They’re dredging everything that could possibly be dredged.”

Hewitt said the dredging is needed in an estuary that is “probably the most used estuary in the state.”

He also pointed out that a 2014 master plan for the Murrells Inlet watershed included dredging as a method to increase water quality. The plan cited data recorded around the Crazy Sister Marina in a previous dredging that showed an increase in fecal coliform bacteria immediately after the work was done when sediment was stirred up. The bacteria levels then dropped because the deeper water meant there was more exchange of fresh and salt water.

The permit calls for the work to be carried out over three years, starting in the fall of 2025.

“It’s a good plan and a thoughtful plan and one with very little impact,” Hewitt said.

The Corps of Engineers is taking public comments on the permit application through Nov. 30. The complete application can be found online.

Where are Murrells Inlet’s famous goats now? Real reason they were placed on the island

Editor’s note: What Myrtle Beach people, places or things make you nostalgic? Tell us more about this story or other notable stories that our journalists should know about our community. Email us at online@thesunnews.com.At first glance, one can be fooled into thinking that the goats have returned to Goat Island located behind Drunken Jack’s restaurant in Murrells Inlet.But the goatly-shapes are fake - metal statues that are a symbolic ge...

Editor’s note: What Myrtle Beach people, places or things make you nostalgic? Tell us more about this story or other notable stories that our journalists should know about our community. Email us at online@thesunnews.com.

At first glance, one can be fooled into thinking that the goats have returned to Goat Island located behind Drunken Jack’s restaurant in Murrells Inlet.

But the goatly-shapes are fake - metal statues that are a symbolic gesture of what once was a popular site for locals and visitors to the MarshWalk.

The goats - often numbering between six and seven - have lived on the island from April through November since about 1982.

One of the big events for onlookers was the rounding up of the goats around Thanksgiving each year to move the goats to their winter home. It was during that time that restaurant owner Al Hitchcock and volunteers would make “fools” out of themselves, chasing the goats around the island and through the marsh, Hitchcock said.

He doesn’t know how people found out about the date and time of the roundup, but he suspects it was a restaurant employee who would leak the information. About 150 to 200 people would come to watch.

However, in October 2022, things changed drastically for the goats when they were removed ahead of Hurricane Ian.

During Hurricane Ian, the water was chest high on the MarshWalk, Hitchcock said. A photo on Hitchcock’s phone shows only a tiny part of the island with the rest surrounded by water. If volunteers hadn’t removed the animals ahead of the storm, “We would’ve lost the goats,” he said.

“They would’ve hung me, run me out of town or put me on social media,” Hitchcock said of the goats’ fans. “I didn’t want any of the three.”

In February, Hitchcock made the decision to not return the goats after the island suffered extreme erosion from the king tides and hurricanes over the years, limiting space for the goats to roam safely, Hitchcock said.

In addition, Hitchcock said that relocating the goats on and off the island was stressful for the animals. Since the goats are pets, he was concerned for their safety and well-being.

“Us chasing the goats is not safe for us or the goats,” Hitchcock said.

On a sunny, but chilly Thursday, the Murrells Inlet goats are roaming a large patch of land, eating grass and soaking up the sun.

It’s their winter-now permanent location at Osprey Marina in the Socastee area. Hitchcock said the owners of the marina have been wonderful over the years to allow the goats to live there.

After their permanent removal, the marina’s owners took on the responsibility of caring for the goats. They seem happy in their location, but Hitchcock said they were also happy to get to the island.

When it came time to load up the goats to bring them to the island, Hitchcock said the ones who had been there before would line up at the gate. That’s because they would dine on leftovers from the restaurant, including items from the salad bar such as carrots and lettuce ends and hushpuppies.

At one time the island also had about six to eight peacocks. However, a hurricane one year came and blew them away, killing three, Hitchcock said.

The rest were rounded up and brought back to the island, but they flew away again. They are now living behind a boat landing in Murrells Inlet. There are about a dozen peacocks there.

Hitchcock has numerous stories about the goats, including a time when a goat got loose and roamed Murrells Inlet for two months. Another goat got loose and crossed the roadway into a woman’s garden and ate some of her vegetables. “I had to buy that lady two cases of collard greens,” Hitchcock said.

The goats were placed on the island to help keep the grass and underbrush down, according to Drunken Jack’s website.

But the truth is that it was another kind of grass that prompted Hitchcock and another man to bring the animals to the island.

Hitchcock said the goats were a prevention solution after some men began growing marijuana plants on the island. He said Murrells Inlet was a small town in the early ‘80s, and no one wanted it there. The goats took care of the problem, eating the plants.

When asked if the goats were affected by the marijuana, Hitchcock wasn’t sure, replying, “I don’t know what a high goat looks like.”

Hitchcock understands that people miss the goats. He said there’s not a day that he doesn’t get asked, “Where are the goats?”

While the metal goats are just a stand in, Hitchcock wanted people to know that the goats were OK. So he placed a sign with a photo of the goats on the farm on the side of his restaurant that says, “We miss y’all too.”

This story was originally published December 9, 2023, 7:00 AM.

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