HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Debris is being removed from the floor of the Waccamaw River to create a safer waterway for recreational users.

The South Carolina Legislative Department brought the issue to the attention of Horry County Government officials and provided a grant. The project will continue through October.

The state provided $375,000 for the county to get a company to remove logs, branches and other large debris from the river. Although, in order for the county to receive the grant, the county had to match the donation. The total amount of money budgeted for this project is $750,000.

The company, Zulu Marine Services, is using cranes, boats and other machines to take the large, fallen trees out of the middle of the river. The debris causes obstacles for boaters, which can be dangerous.

“Over time it naturally happens, trees fall in the river,” said Andrew Markunas, the county engineer. “When trees fall in the river or other obstructions in the river it can be a hazard for navigation. That can cause a severe safety issue for boaters.”

This is an investment that is expected to positively impact the community.

“It would be [a] benefit, a big benefit,” Markunas said. “Those who are out there and use the river will definitely notice a difference.”

On the environmental aspect of this project, Markunas said this won’t hurt the local ecosystem.

“I don’t know if it will have any effect really, we’re talking about a tree here and a tree there, it’s like needles in a haystack, a drop of water in the ocean,” he said.

Anyone boating along the river that sees crews removing debris from the water is asked to ride slow and give them space.

Markunas said, “if you see that don’t be alarmed, just be careful, ya know go slow around them, don’t cause a wake.”