As most visitors to Edisto Beach know, the beach itself has experienced intense erosion. To combat the impact of this erosion, the beach renourishment and groin lengthening project has finally begun.
So what does beach renourishment mean? Here’s some information you need to know.
What’s Going On?
An agreement was made between the Town of Edisto Beach and Marinex Construction, Inc. to dredge sand from the ocean floor and place the sand onto the beach. In fact, more than 950,000 cubic yards will be dredged and placed onto 19,300 linear feet of Edisto Beach. The cost of this project is $11.6 million.
In addition, 26 groins will be lengthened. This project will cost $5.3 million.
Contractors will be working 24 hours a day to complete this project by the time turtle season begins. That means there will be construction on the beach along with heavy equipment. Visitors and residents are instructed to stay away from areas of beach renourishment when contractors are working.
What Will It Look like?
Some of us remember the various ways the beach looked over the years. The gentle slope of the beach into the water has changed greatly. In some areas, much of the beach is practically impassable during high tide. Erosion has carved out much of the sand creating steep drop-offs along the beach.
Once the renourishment program is completed, the beach will be wider, it will slope toward the ocean more gently and dunes will be built closer to beach front homes. This will help maintain sea oats and other marine vegetation.
Without during the renourishment, many beach front homes would eventually become dangerously close to the point of falling into the ocean. In fact, during the past decade, this happened to one home during a particularly high tide.
What About Rebuilding after the Hurricane?
Hurricane Matthew’s impact is still being felt by many on the island, especially homeowners on front beach. Homes on front beach from the 100-700 blocks experienced intense damage and many had their septic tanks washed out. However, these homeowners currently are not allowed to replace these septic tanks or make repairs to their homes until after the renourishment has been complete.
What Can I Do?
The biggest thing anyone can do during the renourishment is to stay out of the way. Let the crews do their jobs and get the beach healthy again. By the time summer rolls around, we’ll all be able to experience our beautiful beach again.