SCDNR Overview

History and Purpose

Beach SunsetThe Department of Natural Resources' stated purpose is to serve as the principal advocate for and steward of South Carolina's natural resources.

The Department's History

The passage of Act 489 in 1905 provided for the appointment of game wardens by the governor, and in 1906 Act 60 created the State Board of Fisheries, beginning a century of progress in the professional management, protection and improvement of our state's natural resources. These pieces of legislation also began an evolution that led to the creation of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The agency, as organized on July 1, 1994, under the S.C. Restructuring Act, is composed of the former Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Water Resources Commission (non-regulatory programs), Land Resources Commission (non-regulatory programs), State Geological Survey (State Geologist), and S.C. Migratory Waterfowl Committee. These have been combined to create the present division structure.

Since 1910, the department has been led by eight directors:


The SCDNR is governed by the Natural Resources Board, composed of seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate (one member representing each of the state's seven Congressional Districts). The board meets monthly.

Dragonfly perched on some tall grassAdvisory Committees

A number of advisory boards and committees serve to keep South Carolina citizens in active participation with the SCDNR Board and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.