State park officials plan to remove the last remaining cottage at Hunting Island State Park — the latest victim of severe erosion at the beachfront park in Beaufort County.
Erosion has long been an issue at the popular barrier island roughly ten miles east of Beaufort. Nowhere has it been more apparent than at the south end of the park. At one point, nearly two dozen public and privately-owned cabins were located along a beachfront road. Now, only one remains. But not for much longer.
State Park Service director Phil Gaines said the “Little Blue” cabin is unsafe because it now sits entirely away from the beach and rises above the water on 35-foot-high pilings (see photos here).The Beaufort Gazette reported the plan on Tuesday
“While it’s a great picture to take, it also causes some problems and issues,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “So we worked real hard with the cabin owners towards a solution that would remove that cabin.”
There are fears that a strong storm could destroy the cottage and make it more difficult to remove the resulting debris. Gaines said some visitors also climb the structure and occasionally have to be rescued.
The building will be demolished and its materials taken off the island, Gaines said. Hunting Island hopes to award a bid by October and have the cabin removed entirely by year’s end, he added.
Meanwhile, park officials are also applying for a portion of $30 million in beach renourishment money they hope can stave off the island’s rapid erosion for a few years. The last renourishment at Hunting Island was done in 2006, Gaines said.