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Posted 8/19/2013

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By Sean McBride
Public Affairs

Sometimes even Mother Nature loses to modern technology.

The Fiscal Year 2013 Work Plan was released in June by the Office of Management and Budget and included $20.4 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District to perform a beach renourishment at Folly Beach; the first since 2005.

The funds received, along with the City of Folly Beach’s 15 percent cost share, will allow the District to award a contract before the end of the fiscal year and begin construction in late-October.

The renourishment will place approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of sand onto the 5.47 mile long federal project section of Folly Beach. This section begins at the boundary of Folly Beach County Park and ends just past the last public beach access point. The project will not have any negative impact on the work recently finished by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and will tie in nicely with that section of beach.

“The Folly Beach renourishment was one of the big projects I was looking forward to when beginning my command,” said Lt. Col. John Litz, Charleston District commander. “The local community has been very active in working with the South Carolina delegation to let them know the importance of this project.”

Renourishing Folly Beach boils down to protecting infrastructure and property. With the natural erosion that occurs, the sand gets washed out to sea and the tide gradually moves closer and closer to homes. As erosion gets closer to homes and infrastructure, they become more vulnerable to damage from storms. By renourishing the beach, the shoreline will be much wider and will offer more protection from storm-related erosion.

The beach renourishment will take approximately seven months to complete. By beginning the work in late October, the District will minimize any potential impacts to both turtle and tourism seasons.

In 1992, the Corps of Engineers reached an agreement with the City of Folly Beach that stated the Corps would pay for the majority of a beach renourishment approximately every eight years, or as deemed necessary, as a result of the construction of the jetties in Charleston Harbor in 1895, which changed the way sediment flowed in and out of Folly Beach. The last beach renourishment on Folly Beach was completed in 2005 and pumped more than 2.8 million cubic yards of sand back onto the beach.

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