Waties Island, South Carolina

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Waties Island is an undeveloped barrier island in the eastern coast of South Carolina. It is under the jurisdiction of Coastal Carolina University and is used primarily as an educational research facility.

South Carolina State of the United States of America

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.

Coastal Carolina University public, state-supported, liberal arts university in Conway, South Carolina, United States

Coastal Carolina University, commonly referred to as CCU or Coastal, is a public liberal arts university in Conway, South Carolina, which is located in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area. Founded in 1954, Coastal became an independent university in 1993.


Maritime forest on Waties Island Maritime forest waties island.JPG
Maritime forest on Waties Island


Waties Island is named for either William Waties Jr. or Sr., who searched out and claimed large tracts of land in the Waccamaw, Pee Dee, and Horry/Georgetown areas.

Horry County, South Carolina County in the United States

Horry County is a county in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 289,650, making it the fifth-most populous county in South Carolina. The county seat is Conway.

Georgetown County, South Carolina County in the United States

Georgetown County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 60,158. Its county seat is Georgetown. The county was founded in 1769. It is named for George III of the United Kingdom.

The island was inhabited by the Waccamaw Indians prior to the arrival of Europeans. The area was originally given to James Minor via a land grant, eventually coming into possession by Waties' family. For a short period, the island was known as Waiters Island on maps, due to a typographical error. The land was purchased in the 1920s by Horace Tilghman and given to Coastal Carolina University as a grant by his daughter, Anne.

The Waccamaw people are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, who lived in villages along the Waccamaw River and Pee Dee River in North and South Carolina in the 18th century.


Waties Island is, for the most part, land untouched by human development. This is the result of the entire mass tending to fall under the jurisdiction of a single family or facility who choose not to develop it or have a distinct purpose in keeping the island undeveloped. This underdevelopment of the island contrasts sharply with the surrounding Grand Strand area, a beach region that is mostly developed. In addition, Waties Island is a barrier island with a significantly varying climate and ecology compared to the surrounding city land. It is one of the last remaining undeveloped barrier islands on the South Carolina coast. These factors have contributed to its use as a research area by students and faculty of Coastal Carolina University. The island has a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy placed on it.

Grand Strand

The Grand Strand is a large stretch of beaches on the East Coast of the United States extending from Little River to Georgetown in the U.S. State of South Carolina. It consists of more than 60 miles (97 km) along an essentially uninterrupted arc of beach land, beginning around the Little River and terminating at Winyah Bay. The population of the Grand Strand was 329,449 at the 2010 United States Census.

Apart from its significance as an ecological research facility, it also has a rich anthropological history. The island is home to many American Indian artifacts, including burial mounds and ceramics.

Salt marsh at Waties Island Salt marsh at Waties Island.jpg
Salt marsh at Waties Island


Coordinates: 33°50′56″N78°34′29″W / 33.84889°N 78.57472°W / 33.84889; -78.57472

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