Mr. Kevin Mills, President and CEO of the South Carolina Aquarium, is our host for the Myrtle Beach panel, and introduces each expert. Mr. Mills begins the panel by talking about the Aquarium’s roles in conservation, protecting wildlife, and combatting nuisance flooding.
The first speaker is Melvin Bell, of the Office of Fisheries Management (S.C. Department of Natural Resources). Bell briefly discusses the impacts of climate change on natural resources, fisheries, and communities. Fisheries management involves more than focusing on the fish; it also consists of the habitats in which they live, and the people involved in maintaining the fisheries. Climate change negatively impacts the habitats where the fish live, and also affects mortality rates, and the environments where they grow and develop. Economies of coastal communities have also been suffering with the rapid changes in ocean species migrations. Mr. Bell then weighs the pros and cons of rising water levels and ocean temperatures, and how they affect habitats and fisheries. He then critiques the two main strategies for combatting the rising water levels (retreat versus hold the line) and how they affect the wildlife living in shore areas.