Environmental Crimes Unit


To report a littering incident, call the ECU office at (843)255-3288 or contact a deputy:

Sergeant John Gobel:  843-812-1224 or jgobel@bcgov.net
Captain Scott Johnson: scottj@bcgov.net


When reporting a littering incident, the following information should be included (partial information can be helpful):

  1. Vehicle make, model and color.

  2. License plate number.

  3. Time, date and location of the incident.

  4. The nature of the littering.

CIGARETTE BUTTS are considered LITTER as well as a FIRE HAZARD.

Fines can range from $470 to $1092.50 and/or jail accompanied by eight (8) hours community service.

Excerpts from South Carolina Code of Laws:

SECTION 16-11-700

A person, from a vehicle or otherwise, may not dump, throw, drop, deposit, discard, or otherwise dispose of litter or other solid waste, as defined by Section 44-96-40(46), upon public or private property or waters in the State including, but not limited to, a highway, park, beach, campground, forest land, recreational area, trailer park, road, street, or alley.

SECTION 56-5-4100

No vehicle may be driven or moved on any public highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle.

SECTION 56-5-4110

No person shall operate on any highway any vehicle with any load unless such load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent such covering or load from becoming loose, detached or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.

Every litter conviction carries a MANDATORY community service LITTER PICK-UP.

Keep Beaufort County Beautiful, the Coalition Against Litter, and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office have implemented a way for Beaufort County citizens to help fight litter in Beaufort County. In September of 2001, Sheriff P.J. Tanner, along with Keep Beaufort County Beautiful, launched an anti-litter campaign.

In order to raise awareness of littering laws (Beaufort County Ordinance No. 2002-11 and South Carolina Title 56, Chapter 7, Section 16-11-700), the Sheriff's Office is asking the citizens of Beaufort County to assist law enforcement help identify the people responsible for littering our highways, waterways and open space by reporting any acts of littering they have witnessed.

When the Sheriff's Office receives a citizen report of a littering incident, deputies will attempt to identify the violator. If the violator is identified, the Sheriff's Office will send the violator a letter explaining the law and its consequences. A citation will be issued if there is enough evidence to prosecute the case. The violator could face up to $1,000 fine and/or community service. "People will think twice when they realize throwing trash out of the window may cost them their paycheck or a week's worth of work in community service," said Sheriff P.J. Tanner.

Citizens can also report littering incidents by calling the Beaufort County Non-Emergency Dispatch at (843) 524-2777.


With over 250,000 beachgoers each year, beach patrol is a necessary and effective form of law enforcement for those who visit our beautiful beaches and waterways. Assisted by the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Coast Guard, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Environmental Crimes Unit provides year-round service to Beaufort County residents, guests and visitors.

This unit utilizes four watercraft: Keywest Stealth (17 ft), Scout Sportfish (19 ft), Seapro CC Bayboat (21 ft) and Keywest CC (22 ft). Seasonal beach patrol is also provided for the public beaches on Hilton Head Island and Hunting Island State Park with the use of all-terrain vehicles. 

Click handbook picture to see

the Official Boating Handbook of the South Carolina

Department of Natural Resources -

Web Version

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

2001 Duke St

Beaufort, South Carolina 29902

Email: BCSOWebsite@bcgov.net 

Phone: 843-255-3200

© 2018 by Beaufort County Sheriff's Office