Murrells Inlet Dredging Pays Off, USACE Says

Image source: USACE

Georgetown County hit the jackpot when dredged material from USACE’s navigation project in Murrells Inlet was able to be placed on Garden City Beach earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, said in its latest release. 

The material met the state’s criteria of suitability for beach front placement by being 90 percent sand and was the least-cost disposal method with no significant environmental impacts. Each of these aspects are required for material from the navigation project to be disposed of in this manner, so it was like Georgetown County hit the Powerball in the South Carolina Lottery, USACE said.

The Garden City Beach material placement was completed in March after damage was sustained from Hurricane Matthew.

The 519,000 cubic yards of material covered a two mile stretch of the beach from the southern tip to Waccamaw Drive and raised the beach approximately nine feet, providing protection for the infrastructure behind the shoreline.

In April, 70,000 cubic yards of the material, or the equivalent of 7,000 dump trucks, was placed on the backside of Huntington Beach State Park’s southern jetty, which was also impacted by Hurricane Matthew, as well as Hurricane Joaquin. This work will help stabilize any additional impacts from future storms and reduce future maintenance costs for the federal government.

Huntington Beach State Park’s southern jetty has become more and more exposed by the elements in the last 20 years. Take a look at overhead imagery from 1999 and 2016 and it will look virtually identical.

The park received sand in 2003, but since then has continued to wash away to the point that the back side of the jetty was almost exposed.

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