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Posted 10/31/2013

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By Sara Corbett
Corporate Communications

Imagine if you are at your favorite beach and everyday nearly 40 dump trucks haul the sand away from the beach, which equates to approximately 14,400 dump trucks of sand a year. That is a lot of sand.

Something similar to that is happening at Edisto Beach. Each year 144,000 cubic yards of sand is washed away with the waves at the beach and nearshore, creating major erosion which endangers structures and the main evacuation route on the quaint island.

Reducing the impacts from storm related erosion is exactly what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District project delivery team members discussed with the residents and city council members of the Town of Edisto Beach in late summer.

At the request of the Town of Edisto Beach, the Charleston District stepped-up to help and signed a cost-sharing agreement with the town in 2006. Since then, the District has completed an extensive draft environmental assessment and feasibility report under the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study and provided a recommendation.

The plan includes constructing a dune and berm and lengthening existing groins.

The first section of dune would be nearly a mile long, 14 feet high and 15 feet wide, and starts at the southwest end of the beach. This is followed by a three mile long section of dune that is 15 feet high and 15 feet wide.

The four mile long beach consists of a dune and berm extending in width from 50 feet to 75 feet at groin number one located at the north end of the project. In total, 23 existing groins would be lengthened by 1,130 feet and the beach would be renourished every eight years.

If everything goes according to plan, the construction could be completed by winter 2019. But several things have to happen prior to construction even beginning, including appropriation and authorization from the U.S. Congress. In spring 2014, the draft feasibility study will be sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Chief of Engineers for his signature. Following that it would be up to the U.S. Congress to authorize and appropriate the project.

The residents and city council members of the Town of Edisto were thrilled with the Corps’ presentation and gave a standing ovation at the end of the meeting.

“[We] were well pleased with the Corps interest in our community and felt that Edisto was a part of the Corps’ mission” said Mayor Burley Lyons.

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