Have you noticed increased sand, rocks, and groin size at Folly Beach lately? Folly Beach had received a $10 million dollar grant in 2018 from the Army Corps of Engineers for beach renourishment. As you may or may not know- Folly Beach has had its share of concerns over beach erosion due to a few factors. One (and the most important) reason for the erosion of sand on Folly is due to the Charleston jetties in the Harbor. The Charleston jetties were constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers years ago, in order to preserve the deep, dredged channels extending outwards to the Atlantic Ocean for container ships inbound and outbound through the Port of Charleston. The unfortunate byproduct of these jetties are that they are blocking the natural flow of sand from the north, to the south. This is why we are seeing accretion of sand along the southern area of Sullivans Island (where it is building up), and erosion along certain areas of Folly Beach.
Another reason is due to the Nor'easter storms we see in the winter, and of course hurricanes (every now and then). These storms can temporarily take out sand/structures, but the folks that live along the beach are resilient, and always come together to help each other rebuild. I was here for Hurricane Hugo in '89 and still remember it well as a kid. Also, Hurricanes Floyd, Bonnie, Matthew, and Irma as well. These storms certainly are atypical- and any local will tell you- there's nothing that we can't take on (especially after Hugo). But we haven't had a close call in quite some time- so it's "just part of living" in Charleston and at the beach.
The latest grant will pump sand from the Folly River, through the middle of the island near The Washout, out to the beach through a series of pipes. I've also noticed the rocks along the shoreline are now twice as thick in girth, and the groins from The Washout, westward, have been rebuilt. This should ease homeowners minds, and help cease (or at least defer) the erosion.
On a side note- if you love hunting for megalodon shark teeth or gigantic conch shells- head out to the beach on the mornings after they are dredging and you can find some incredible shark teeth!
Mike Ciucci specializes in the Charleston SC real estate market. He has been a Charleston resident for over 35 years, focusing on quality and attention to detail his clients have come to expect.