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On September 24, 2019, Seabrook Island Town Council adopted Ordinance 2019-09, which amends the leash requirements for pets on all beaches within the town limits of Seabrook Island.
The request to amend the town’s leash requirements was initiated by a citizen petition received in February 2019. Over a period of seven months, the Town Council carefully considered relevant information from a variety of sources, including the petitioners, Coastal Science and Engineering (the Town’s Beach Management consultant), Seabrook Island Beach Patrol, Seabrook Island Birders Group, Seabrook Island Dog Owners Group, Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol, St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Prior to adoption, a public hearing on the proposed ordinance was advertised and held on September 17, 2019.

The ordinance, which went into effect on October 24, 2019, divides the beach into three zones:


  • Restricted Area (Red): The restricted area begins at a line extending from Boardwalk #1 (Community Center Boardwalk) to the Atlantic Ocean and continues in a northeasterly direction to Captain Sam’s Inlet. Within the restricted area, no pets shall be allowed at any time, whether on or off a leash.


  • Limited Restriction Area (Yellow): The limited restriction area begins approximately 300 yards northwest of a line extending from Boardwalk #9 (Pelican Watch Boardwalk) to the Edisto River and continues in a northwesterly direction to Privateer Creek. Within the limited restriction area, pets must be on a leash at all times.


  • General Beach Area (Green): In all other areas of the beach, the following seasonal rules shall apply: 

    •  Peak Season (April 1 – September 30):

      •  Pets must be on a leash between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. At all other times, pets may be off a leash, provided they remain effectively controlled while on the beach.

    • Off-Peak Season (October 1 – March 31):

      • Pets may be off a leash at any time, provided they remain effectively controlled while on the beach.



For purposes of the new ordinance, the following definitions shall apply: 

  • “Effectively controlled” means that the behavior of the pet is restrained by a competent person from:

    •  (a) entering any area on or adjacent to the beach in which a pet is prohibited.

    • (b) destroying or damaging any property.

    • (c) attacking or threatening to attack any person or any other animal or pet in any manner.

    • (d) being a nuisance to other beachgoers.

  • “Competent person” means a person of suitable age and discretion and physically capable of restraining and controlling a pet in his or her care to prevent harm to persons, property, or to other animals.

  • “Nuisance” means causing annoyance, inconvenience, or discomfort to public health, safety, and welfare.

  • “On a leash” means that the pet is restrained by a competent person using a physical restraint made of cord, rope, strap, chain, or other material effective for restraining the type and size of pet, the physical restraint being no more than sixteen (16) feet in length, secured to the animal’s collar or harness and continually held by a competent person.

  • “Off a leash” means that the pet is not on a leash as defined herein. Pets under voice control or under control of remotely operated devices, such as electronic collars, shall be considered to be "off of a leash.”          

No later than one year from the effective date of Ordinance 2019-09, the council shall review the terms of the ordinance and determine whether it has worked effectively and achieved the objective of balancing the interests of all users of the beach. Following such review, the council shall amend the ordinance, if and to the extent, it deems necessary.

As a reminder, violation of any town ordinance, including the town’s leash requirements for pets on the beach, is a misdemeanor and violators may be subject to fines of up to $1,087.50 (including court fees) upon conviction.

For more information about the town’s leash requirements, please call (843) 768-9121 or email  The Beach Ordinance can be found under the "Guidelines" tab on our website.

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