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By Heather Walters
Pipes are spread across the beachfront at Edisto Beach, as the renourishment process is underway and moving quickly toward completion.
According to officials with the Town of Edisto Beach, the renourishment project began in the 400-500-block of the beach, where Edisto Mayor Jane Darby says “many homes were damaged” from the 2016 Hurricane Matthew. The entire renourishment project then moved to the north end of the beach, and into the Edisto Beach State Park. With those two portions of the project complete, the renourishment process is now focused on the southern portion of the beach. “They are currently removing their equipment,” Darby said on Monday, about the dredging company that has been actively pumping sand onto the southern part of the beach.
While the dredging has stopped, the extension work onto the town’s rocky groins is still ongoing. These groins will be extended further into the ocean to help prevent erosion. “This work is very dependent on the tides and weather. Much of the work can only be completed at low tide under dry conditions,” said Darby, speaking about the groin extension. “They are working diligently and are trying to complete their task by May 1.” With sea turtle season underway, Darby says turtle monitors are in place, along with other safeguards to protect turtles through nesting season.
When the renourishment process is complete, the entire beachfront will expand by about 100 feet.
“Electrical repairs are ongoing at the Edisto Beach State Park beachfront camping area,” said Darby, talking about other upgrades happening during the renourishment process.
”The day area and the off beach camping area are open. Some trails are still closed due to damage. Botany Bay is open but the beach is not accessible.
“The beach accesses are having excess tide surge sand removed and repairs made to the access surface,” she said. “The signage, benches, pet waste disposal systems, garbage corrals, rope fencing and other beach accessories are ordered and a contract to install these items is currently being awarded.”
While Edisto’s renourishment process continues, the actual beach is entering their busy season: the Edisto Beach Homeowner’s Annual Meeting is April 22 at 4 pm at the Civic Center; the King’s Daughters Annual Bazaar is Saturday, May 6 at the Lion’s Club; the Edisto Beach Volunteer Annual Fish Fry is May 27 at the Lion’s Club. “Additionally, most of restaurants are featuring special entertainment and menu specials as we continue into our active summer season,” she said.