Officially formed on July 1, 1994, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) combined the non-regulatory programs of the South Carolina Water Resources Commission and Land Resources Commission, the State Geological Survey, the South Carolina Migratory Waterfowl Committee, and the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department. According to the agency’s mission statement, SCDNR is “the advocate for and steward of the state’s natural resources.”
The General Assembly established the agency to provide for conservation, management, utilization, and protection of the state’s natural resources. To accomplish these goals, the agency is divided into several divisions covering different areas of responsibility: Outreach and Support Services includes graphics/duplicating, education, a magazine, and news/video/media; Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries includes wildlife management, freshwater fisheries, and wildlife diversity; Marine Resources includes policy and operations, fisheries management, public affairs, the Marine Resources Research Institute, budget and finance, and environmental management; Land, Water and Conservation includes conservation districts, environmental conservation, climatology, regional climate center, hydrology/geology, and natural resource information management and analysis; and Law Enforcement covers law enforcement districts around the state.
SCDNR is governed by a policy-making board of directors consisting of seven members who are appointed by and serve at the will of the governor. The board appoints the agency director. The agency’s programs receive funding through several sources, including state appropriated funds, revenue (earned from things such as license and magazine sales), and federal grants.