Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies


Coastal and Marine Systems Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Thomas S. Mullikin

Second Advisor

Robert Sheehan

Third Advisor

Till J.J. Hanebuth


Marion County is located in northern South Carolina between the Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers. Because Marion County was the location of severe flooding during hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018), the South Carolina Floodwater Commission identified Marion County as a location for drainage system improvement by the Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Force. In order to align plans for drainage system improvement with the needs of the local communities, commission chairman Thomas Mullikin requested a community survey to gauge the residents' personal experiences and views on what changes should be made to address the problem. The purpose of this survey is not only to guide the Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Force in making and implementing decisions about drainage system improvement, but also to establish a connection with Marion County using a method that can be implemented in other flood-prone communities in the future. 320 individual survey responses were collected between May and September 2019, with respondents answering questions on topics such as their experiences with flooding and property damage over the past ten years, their knowledge of flood zones and flood insurance, and their opinions about flood mitigation strategies and responsibility in community recovery. Survey responses were digitally coded, individual question results were recorded, and the impact of demographic factors on select questions was examined using univariate analysis. The results indicate that, while few respondents know their flood zone or have implemented property-scale flood prevention measures, there is a significant interest in further education as well as support for building code updates and rezoning based on recent flooding. Older respondents reported more frequent flooding over the past ten years, and were more likely to know their flood zone, to support rezoning and building code updates, to report taking flood warnings seriously, and to express interest in further education than younger respondents. The results suggest that more educational outreach is necessary for residents to understand the extensive history and likely future of flooding in Marion County, whether their personal property is at risk for future flooding, and how to access flood insurance and resources for flood recovery and mitigation.