History and Purpose of the Dept. of Natural Resources

The Department

The agency as organized on July 1, 1994, under the S.C. Restructuring Act is composed of the former Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Water Resources Commission (non-regulatory programs), Land Resources Commission (non-regulatory programs), State Geological Survey (State Geologist), and S.C. Migratory Waterfowl Committee. These have been combined into the present division structure. The Department has developed a vision for the future to guide the agency in its mission and provide the public with a clear understanding of its plan to preserve South Carolina's natural wealth. Robert H. Boyles, Jr. is the current Director of the agency.


The SCDNR is governed by the seven-member S.C. Natural Resources Board, with one member representing each of the state's seven Congressional Districts. The board meets monthly. Citizen advisory committees meet periodically.

The public is invited to attend all meetings, and comment is encouraged. Upcoming meetings are announced through news releases, local newspapers, or the DNR News and Video Section at 803-734-3952. Also, SCDNR Board Meeting minutes are available as they are approved by the Board.

Vision for the Future


Our mission is to serve as the principal advocate for and steward of South Carolina’s natural resources.


Our vision for South Carolina is an enhanced quality of life for present and future generations through improved understanding, wise use, and safe enjoyment of healthy, diverse, sustainable and accessible natural resources.

Our vision for the DNR is to be a trusted and respected leader in natural resources protection and management, by consistently making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

Core Values:

Our actions will be guided at all times by the following shared internal values:

Guiding Principles:

In carrying out our mission, we will continuously strive to:


To more effectively accomplish our mission and attain our vision, the DNR will work diligently toward achieving the following overarching goals and objectives during the next five years:

  1. Enhance the effectiveness of the agency in addressing natural resource issues.
    1. Broaden strategies to address the impacts of population growth, habitat loss, environmental alterations, overuse and other challenges faced in protecting, enhancing and managing diverse natural resources;
    2. More effectively develop, coordinate, and integrate resource-specific conservation and management plans, research and policies within the agency; and
    3. Expand sound application of science for natural resource management and decision-making.
  2. Improve the general operations of the agency.
    1. Develop and implement department-wide operational plans that clearly connect all agency activities to specific goals and annual accountability reports;
    2. Fully develop the agency’s regional hub system;
    3. Continue to develop and maintain modern, well-integrated information systems and technology throughout the agency;
    4. Enhance and maintain effective communications throughout all levels of the agency;
    5. Maximize efficiency of internal operations and business procedures; and
    6. Aggressively pursue increases in revenue, state and federal funding, and identify new funding sources to support accomplishment of our mission.
  3. Create an agency environment that supports a dedicated, professional workforce.
    1. Implement comprehensive workforce planning that is consistent with agency priorities;
    2. Expand consistent, agency-wide employee training, retention, and compensation efforts;
    3. Implement initiatives that improve employee morale and teamwork, instill a sense of pride in the agency, and emphasize the importance of its mission.
  4. Enhance public trust and confidence in the agency.
    1. Foster more effective communications, outreach, and partnering with the public and State Legislature;
    2. Develop strategies that address divergent public opinion and expectations concerning issues related to accessibility, use, and protection of natural resources; and
    3. Optimize our customer service through regular monitoring of constituent needs, public opinion, and agency performance; and
    4. Enhance natural resource education to provide the public with knowledge necessary in making informed natural resource decisions.