ISLE OF PALMS, SC – Thousands of starfish washed up on the beach at Isle of Palms over the weekend.
And it turns out, this happens a few times each winter on Lowcountry beaches.
Usually, strong off-shore winds push them onto the shore at high tide and they’re stuck until the tide comes back in. Over the weekend, wind gusts were coming in stronger than 20 miles an hour.
Monday Night, we spoke with Mel Bell, the fisheries management director for the Department of Natural Resources who said this is pretty normal.
Bell said the last time this happened was in December on Fripp Island.
The problem? On the bottom of the ocean, Starfish can’t really “stick” to the sand, so they end up going with the tides.
He says the amount of starfish that washed up on IOP this weekend is pretty standard for one of these events.
As for the health of the starfish, Bell says they have had issues in the Pacific with disease, but we haven’t seen any issues here.