October 04, 2017
Town of Kiawah Island Begins Beach Renourishment Project
The Town of Kiawah Island plans to complete a beach renourishment project involving two phases of dune restoration along six sections of the Kiawah beachfront beginning the week of October 9. The project is intended to help re-establish and preserve areas of the beach that suffered extensive erosion during Tropical Storm Irma.
Town Biologist Jim Jordan stated “Kiawah’s dune field had grown significantly since Hurricane Matthew and typically extended 30-40 feet seaward of the post-Matthew dune line. Along portions of Captain Sam’s Spit and the Ocean Course, these new dunes extended as much as 120 feet seaward. All of these new dunes were flattened during Hurricane Irma. In addition, the beach eroded an additional 10-20 feet in most of the residential sections of the island.”
The dune restoration project will consist of building a new dune measuring 6 feet high and 20 feet wide through a technique called sand scraping. Sand will be scraped from the low tide beach and relocated to the current dune escarpment.
In phase one, the Town has emergency authorization from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) to perform sand scraping in areas where homes or other infrastructure are within 20 feet of the active beach. This situation occurs along three sections of the beach:
- Turtle Point Golf Course in front of Turtle Beach Ln. and Atlantic Beach Ct.
- Ocean Course Golf Course, Holes 15-16
- Ocean Course Clubhouse and Driving Range
Phase one is expected to begin the week of October 9 and last for approximately two weeks. The Town expects to close a 200 yard wide section of beach each day to allow the work to take place.
In phase two, the Town has applied for an individual permit with OCRM to perform sand scraping in areas that are currently at risk but do not meet the 20-foot requirement of the current Emergency Order. The active beach in these areas is generally between 20-50 feet away from homes or infrastructure. This situation occurs along three sections of the beach:
- Eugenia Avenue to Mariners Watch
- The Sanctuary Hotel
- The Beach Club
Phase two will begin when and if permits are received by OCRM with an anticipated start date in mid-November. This phase would take approximately three weeks to complete.
Mayor Craig Weaver stated, “The beach is one of Kiawah’s most valuable and appreciated assets so we are not taking the beach assessment lightly. Not only are we going to take advantage of the Emergency Order granted to coastal communities but we feel that moving forward with our own efforts will create the best preservation scenario for our community”
At the October 3 Town Council meeting, Council approved the project in the amount of $275,000.
- Additional details can be found in the Town’s Post-Irma Beach Erosion Report
- View the map illustrating the project area and erosion rates