About the May River

The May River is a tidal river that winds its way through the middle of Bluffton, SC towards Hilton Head island. The May is fed by the tides of the ocean through Calibogue Sound. While the river is one of South Carolina's cleanest, it is also especially sensitive because any pollution that enters the May River does not wash away downstream.
The May River is at the heart of the economy and family life in Bluffton and greater Beaufort County. It is important to our community for so many reasons: as a place to swim, lounge on the sandbar, catch fish and harvest oysters. In all of these ways the health of the May River is tied to the health of our community - it's a responsibility we all share.

In recent years, local leaders and residents have become increasingly concerned about rising levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the river. Fecal coliform bacteria are sometimes found with disease-causing germs found in human and animal waste. At various times, bacteria levels have been so high that officials have had to close the river's famous oyster beds to protect public health.

Fecal coliform bacteria enters the river from many sources- wastewater overflow, wildlife, failing septic systems, and even pet waste. We are all part of the problem, but we can all do our part and be part of the solution.  It's not too late to make a real difference in the health of the May River!