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Quit feeding the geese: That could be against the law for most Horry County homeowners

Injured baby goose gets homemade wheelchair

PJ is a baby goose with previously untreated spray leg. He was found living in his own feces and was rescued by a good Samaritan who transferred him to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue two weeks later where he was placed into a homemade wheelchair. The w
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PJ is a baby goose with previously untreated spray leg. He was found living in his own feces and was rescued by a good Samaritan who transferred him to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue two weeks later where he was placed into a homemade wheelchair. The w

If you live on an average-size property in Horry County and feed ducks or geese, you’ll soon be breaking the law, according to a proposed adjustment to an Horry County ordinance.

In 2007, Horry County banned feeding waterfowl in residential areas except at a “facility dedicated to wildlife management.” However, there was no minimum lot size, so any Horry County resident could dedicate their quarter-of-an-acre property to wildlife management and become a functioning pit stop for waterfowl.

County Attorney David Jordan presented to the Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee Tuesday morning about making a change to the waterfowl ordinance. The committee voted to recommend the ordinance be updated at the next County Council meeting Feb. 19.

“We’re just clearing it up and making it a large enough plot of land where the geese do not interfere with neighborhoods,” Jordan said.

The new law would change the requirements only in residential areas, mandating people have at least 5 acres of land before their property can be declared a wildlife management center.

“In order to prevent a large congregation of waterfowl feeding within close proximity to residences, facilities dedicated to wildlife management should be located on parcels having a minimum lot area of five acres,” a document presented to the Council Committee said.

Various types of waterfowl live in the area. Puddle ducks, diving ducks, geese and swans all can be found in Horry County, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

According to county documents, too many waterfowl hanging around in neighborhoods can be a public nuisance, creating erosion and pollution of lakes. One such creature, the Canadian goose, has become infamous for sticking around neighborhoods.

DNR also discourages feeding any waterfowl, as the presence of other birds and food can attract their Canadian cousins.

“This is pretty important for some of our areas,” council member Bill Howard said.

Development and Horry County reporter Tyler Fleming joined The Sun News in May of 2018. He covers other stuff too, like reporting on beer, bears, breaking news and Coastal Carolina University. He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018 and was the 2017-18 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. He has won (and lost) several college journalism awards.
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