Visitors to Charleston have not been able to swim at Folly Beach County Park for nearly two years, ever since Hurricane Irene’s surf destroyed the beach and its dunes in August 2011.
But county officials say they hope to re-open the beach later this summer after a heavy renourishment process.
The beach replenishment project at Folly has been underway since May 5. Crews have been working around the clock pumping in sand from the Folly River in order to restore the popular family beach.
Sarah Reynolds, a spokeswoman with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, says 175,000 cubic yards of sand have been pumped onto the beach. She says the contractors have started building a terminal groin that will extend 700 feet into the ocean, which will help capture sand for the beach.
The groin was not favored by the Coastal Conservation League because of environmental concerns, but Reynolds says there was a meeting of the minds following several conversations between the county parks commission and the environmental group.
“We went through a process with the Coastal Conservation League and they came to an agreement. We’re sort of following some stipulations they set forth. So our permit for this was approved right before we started construction. It was approved at the state and federal level,” says Reynolds.
Reynolds says that, unfortunately, it’s too soon to say whether or not the project will be finished in time for a Folly Beach swim day, but she is assuring beach-goers that the projects progress can be followed on the park’s website.
Sheree Bernardi of Charleston affiliate WTMA filed this report